I hope someone can give me some advice re the following. I shall try and keep to the point.
I am a landlord of a ground floor flat. A leak occurred on my bathroom ceiling where the upstairs flat had recently had building work carried out. I requested the builder investigate the leak. He did this from my flat and the upstairs flat.
He discovered that a pipe belonging to the upstairs flat had been leaking and had rotted the joists.
Builder mended the leak and put temporary joists in place whilst both myself and upstairs flat landlord contacted our insurance companies.
My insurance company eventually surveyed the area and said that upstairs insurance company / leaseholder was responsible for the repair to the joists however they would cover the costs of repair to my bathroom ceiling once the joist work had been carried out. They provided me with a cheque to cover the work.
Upstairs flat contacted their company who covered the cost of replacing the joists. They instructed the builder to do this. The area had to be accessed from my flat. I asked the builder to quote me to replace the ceiling once the joist work was complete. He did not do this despite numerous phonecalls and messages left.
I then discovered that the builder had completed the joist work (authorised by upstairs landlord) but had also replaced my ceiling, bought new light fittings and fully redecorated the bathroom. He had not provided a quote and I had not contracted him to carry out this work.
The builder then provided me with a bill for an amount much more than I am willing to pay. This is more than double what was quoted by the insurance company. I have refused to pay the full amount and offered to pay a lesser amount. He said that he will refuse to accept this and will take me to the small claims court.
My point is that had I received a quote for this amount or close to it, I would have instructed the insurance company to arrange the work so that I was not out of pocket.
I have tried to negotiate with the builder. He has refused to accept the amount offered. He has admitted in a phonecall that he assumed he had been contracted to do the work in my flat. He agrees he did not quote me for the work he has completed.
I appreciate there is a lack of communication between me, him and the upstairs landlord however I cannot afford the bill he has sent me.
Where do I stand legally?
Should I continue to negotiate?
Should I just pay the bill?
I would be very grateful for any advice