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House flooded - need to recover my excesses


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Hi, really hope someone can help me out here, a little back-ground on my story.

 

 

Late Jan 2010 and it was a very cold winter, my house was flooded severely from the flat above, the actual cause of the flooding to the best of my knowledge was this: A mains water supply pipe to a header tank in the loft space had become frozen and uncoupled, when the ice started to thaw this mains water pipe started flooding the loft space, brought down the ceilings in the flat above mine, flooded that property and then brought my ceilings down, every room in my house was water damaged except one bedroom which was at the other end of the property.

 

 

This flat was owned by a local housing association and had lay vacant for approx 6 years. My claim was all settled by my insurance however I had to pay £200 buildings and £200 contents excesses. As far as i know my insurance has still not recovered the cost of my claim from this housing association, in the last two weeks I've had an independent architect sent to my property to try to establish the cause or basically who was to blame. We gained access to the loft space and the independent architect was of the opinion that my flat (prior to me moving in) had joint use of this header tank in the loft with the flat above until my flat got a combi boiler installed (again prior to me moving in). He basically said that as far as the insurance recovering their money there was no-one to blame and that my insurance would need to cover their costs as would the housing association.

 

 

He however suggested I may have a case to recover my excesses for several reasons,

 

 

1 - The property had lay vacant for such a long time and no maintenance had been carried out (neglegent)

 

2 - I had no access to the loft space as the only access was through the flat above.

 

3 - This architect discovered this mains water supply pipe can only be isolated from a stop-cock across the street from our flats, there is no way to shut off the water to the flat above on its own. The stop cock across the street shuts the four flats off in our block. ave spoken to a legal

 

 

I have spoken to a legal advice line I get through my union and they have advised I would need to go through the small claims courts (Scotland) and I am unsure of this process or what I am required to do.

 

 

Really hope this is enough info however if not please ask and thanks in advance for any help

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Hi liambee

 

Couple of questions:

 

1. Are you a Tenant or an Owner Occupier in your Flat?

2. Do you pay a Factoring Charge to the Housing Association?

3. Do the Housing Association Maintain the whole building?

 

I can sympathise with you as had a similar issue during that bad spell.

 

The issue you may run into with this is the extreme weather and clauses excluding acts of god or extreme/severe weather which during that period it was.

 

You will also need to find the root cause of the flooding if it can be proved that it was the header tank in the loft or not .

 

Your Independent Architect has not actually given you any proof that the header tank was at fault and his advice on the flat above being empty with no maintenence is shoddy advice at best as where is this independent Architects evidence of this as if you use that advice you would have to provide valid proof of this.

 

I would really need you to answer those questions above to give further advice.

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

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Hey Stu, I bought the house in Feb 2005 so I am a home owner but mortgaged, no there is no factoring charge paid to the housing assoc, no the housing assoc do not maintain the building.

 

I understand your point about exterme weather, the angle I am thinking off is when the floodoing took place and we called the police to gain entry to the flat above there was, without a word of a lie 2 foot of mail, no one had been on that property to check, carry out any kind of maintenance on the place.

 

If im being honest I find his advice shoddy but for a diferent reason, he is not agreeing with me, at the end of the day I do not understand how I can be held liable or be out of pocket for a situation I have no control over and also we have now discovered that the water supply to this flat cannot be stopped without shutting down the water supply to four other properties, surely the housing assoc have a duty to be able to stop any further damage to further properties.

 

I have been advised I need to write to the housing assoc concerned and request they repay my excesses and failure to do so will result in me taking the matter to the small claims court.

 

Hope this helps, if not please ask.

 

 

Cheers

Liam.

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Hi liambee

 

Who actually owns the building the flats are in is it the Housing Association? or does the Housing Association only own that one Flat above you?

 

Also something to bear in mind all Registered Social Landlord (Local Councils and Housing Association) now have to follow the new Complaints Procedure issued by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman from April 2012

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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The flat upstairs is the only property owned by the housing assoc, the other 3 flats including mine ae all owned by private individuals.

 

Could you give any guidance in what I should put in the letter to the housing assoc, I have again taken legal advice and have been instructed I have to write to them stating my reasons for claiming my excesses from them and give 14 days for them to reply. I have been advised I should state I feel they were neglegant in maintaining the property and this would be my reason for holding the liable.

 

 

Cheers

Liam.

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