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Flat - my roof has allegedly caused damage to neighbours flat - liability?

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Hi all,

 

Not sure if this is the best place but here goes.

 

We own an upstairs flat, and rent it out. Downstairs is also private rented.

 

Last week, the landlord from downstairs contacted us to inform us that there is a major mould issue in the downstairs flat, and that they believed it was due to issues with our flat roof (there is an entranceway that juts out which has a flat roof).

 

Now the loss adjuster from their side has called us and gone on about the disrepair of our property etc (overegged at the very least).

 

My questions are a couple fold :)

 

- There is still a big question to my mind over whether the damage is actually caused by the roof. However, even if it is, we have made immediate action to rectify any repair issues highlighted as soon as we were told. As such, can we be held liable for their damage? My understanding is that you had to be proven to be negligent (e.g. ignoring requests for repairs)?

- The extent of the issue has in no way occurred overnight. Surely we cannot be held liable for any damage that has occurred due to the lack of timely notification from the owners of that property? This issue (if caused by water ingress at all, and if caused by our maintenance issues) must have been ongoing for months as a minimum. In particular they are saying that the mould is a health risk and they may have to move the tenants out. However, as we were never given notification or opportunity to resolve any issue and damage prior to this extensive damage, how could we possibly be told we are liable for this?

 

It should be noted that due to the layout of the flats, and the specific allegation of maintenance issues, there is no way that we could have known of the issue from either outside, or from our own property.

 

Thanks very much in advance for any comments!


7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

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ask to see report on mould if toxic; easily killed with bleach then painted.

I pressume they have made an insurance claim, hence loss adjuster, so they should deal with costs.

if insurance come after you then cold you pass on to your insurance co.?

I think you would have a good case for mitigation in that you were not informed of problem until it got too bad and when informed you put it right.

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Have the roof inspected by a couple of roofing companies and arrange for the necessary repairs to be carried out. Now that it has been brought to your attention, as you know you have to do something about it.

 

Pass on any correspondence you receive from the third party or their Insurance people to your Buildings Insurers. It is up to your Insurers to decide on issue of liability and you should not get involved. Within the terms of your Insurance, you basically delegate issues over liability to your Insurers. They will decide whether there is any issue of negligence on your part, by asking you about the situation. The roofing inspection reports will help your Insurers with this, so this is something you should sort out asap.


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Thanks both. Totally agree UB that I will be leaving this very much for the insurers to sort out between themselves frankly (in fact, I was very surprised that the loss adjuster contacted ourselves directly in such a way).

 

I was mainly trying to a) anticipate what liability, if any, may be and b) any issues in mitigation that we should raise with the insurance co.


7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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