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Bubblegaff

Ceiling damage due to repeated roof problems in communal flat

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Hi

 

I own a flat that I rent out. It's the top floor in a tenement building and I pay factors to maintain the communal areas. I also having building insurance through the factors but leave the tenants to obtain their own contents insurance.

 

Over the last few years I have been informed by the tenants that there was water coming through the ceiling. This has happened several times. The factors have fixed the roof (usually telling me there has been a dislodged tile). There has been damage to the ceiling and the most recent occasion has left the kitchen ceiling in a bit of a mess.

 

The factors say that this is not covered by my buildings insurance as this only covers storm damage.

 

I have asked for a list of how many repairs have been done to the roof recently and they sent me a list of 8 repairs which have been done since August 09.

 

My question is:

Should I repair the ceiling (I have new tenants moving in next month), or can I ask the factors to take more action? Given the frequency of the roof problems I could be paying for repairs continually over the next few years while the factors take no responsibility.

 

I have asked the factors if they believe the roof is fit for purpose and they have said 'well it's over 30 years old'.

 

They have offered to ask the other flat owners if they would be willing to share the repair bill for my ceiling (not holding out much hope for that one) or share the cost of re-roofing the whole property (which will be very expensive).

 

Is there any other course of action I should be considering?

 

Thanks for your help.

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It is up to the freeholder/LL to maintain the property through a manager probably, with you paying a service charge.

I would imagine any damage to the fabric of the building, including ceilings and repairs is a joint responsibility of all the tenants, if not covered by insurance.

The managers should take care of this and charge accordingly.

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It is up to the freeholder/LL to maintain the property through a manager probably, with you paying a service charge.

I would imagine any damage to the fabric of the building, including ceilings and repairs is a joint responsibility of all the tenants, if not covered by insurance.

The managers should take care of this and charge accordingly.

 

Thanks for the reply. So you are saying I should argue with the factors that it is their responsibility to manage the repairs and charge all of the tenants?

 

To be clear, the damage is internal to my property (kitchen ceiling) but it is as a result of problems with the external roof which is obviously common to all tenants.

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I emailed the factor with my belief that they should be responsible for repairs to damage caused by problems on the communal roof. The reply I got is below. Anyone know how I can take this further?

 

Hi xxxx, thanks for your emailand I note its comments.

Having taken advice myself, Iagain confirm that ceilings within a property are not common and it is not

The factor’s responsibility toreinstate them.

If the water ingress is theresult of an insured peril then an owner can make a claim on the buildings

Insurance policy with details ofthe incident for the insurer’s consideration and if successful the excess wouldbe

Deducted from the claim. Wear and tear on a roof is however not covered by insurance.

The role of the factor is tomake reasonable endeavours to fix and repair reported faults on the roof. I am

Confident that on each occasionrepairs have been reported that this has been done.

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I would then make a claim on the insurance then as a consequence of the leaks!

If you and the other owners are not happy with the managers you can always manage it yourselves; all you need is 60% of the other owners or tenants to agree ( you have the right to manage the property) and LL cannot refuse.

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The factor has said that it's unlikely that I would be covered by the insurance for damage inflicted as a result of wear and tear to the roof.

 

Also, I doubt that the other owners have any issue with the factor as it's only my property (top floor) that's been affected by the leaks.

 

Do I just need to grin and bear it? Fix the ceiling out of my own pocket and hope that the leaks don't happen as often as they have in the past (8 times in 4 years)?

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The factor has said that it's unlikely that I would be covered by the insurance for damage inflicted as a result of wear and tear to the roof.

 

Also, I doubt that the other owners have any issue with the factor as it's only my property (top floor) that's been affected by the leaks.

 

Do I just need to grin and bear it? Fix the ceiling out of my own pocket and hope that the leaks don't happen as often as they have in the past (8 times in 4 years)?

 

I think you need to have the roof independently inspected. There is no point you spending money on repairing the ceiling, if it gets damaged again within a short space of time. Perhaps the roof needs to stripped of tiles and new felt put down. It depends on the roof construction as to what is required. I think the people responsible for the factor are doing the minimum, as they don't want to spend alot getting the roof overhauled.

 

Suggest that you obtain legal advice locally, perhaps via your nearest Citizens Advice. They will need to know about how the factor is arranged. There is also a new code of conduct affecting factors, which confirms what rights you have.

 

Here is some reading to do about factors in this link.

 

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2012/07/6791/0


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I would say that if the leak keeps happening, then the repairs are ineffective, and you would have a valid claim. You cant be expected to repair the ceiling each time it leaks.

I suggest you take the ' Factors ' or the builder responsible to court for the cost of repair.

I trust you have the dates of the leaks and photos of the damage each time.

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I suggested to the factor that the frequency of the repairs would indicate that they are ineffective but they have sent me photographs which (they say) shows that the repairs have been to different areas of the roof. It's hard to see anything in the photographs that would prove anything to be honest. They are maintaining the 'wear and tear' line and 'what do you expect when the roof is over 30 years old?'

 

The factor is a fairly large housing association but they are not being sympathetic in the slightest. Perhaps Citizens Advice is the best way forward.

 

Thanks for the replies.

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Try sending andydd a message, he may be able to help, our expert on all things to do with property matters and freeholders etc.

In fact may need a new roof then; perhaps a surveyors or engineers report is required. If it needs a new roof then it needs anew roof, managers are supposed to be on top this.

Have you canvassed any support for doing it yourselves?

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Hi all.

 

By factor i assume you mean freeholder/management company ? . Ive not heard the term before.

 

Is the actuall roof damaged and leaking ? If so this would almost certainly be the obligation of the fh to repair and split costs via the leaseholders and recover via the service charge, he would have to follow the s20 landlod and tenant consulatation procedure if cost would be more than 250 per leaseholder.

 

If it doesnt relate to the actual roof but just internal ceilings then the situation is a bit different, i believe whoever caused damage would be liable for cost, ie if upstairs left bath running, i dont know about insurance, normally the fh would insure whole building but i dont believe this would cover internal problems/damages.

 

Andy

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Are you in Scotland then ?, freehold doesnt exist in same way as in England abd Wales and the law is totally different.

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Hi all.

 

By factor i assume you mean freeholder/management company ? . Ive not heard the term before.

 

Is the actuall roof damaged and leaking ? If so this would almost certainly be the obligation of the fh to repair and split costs via the leaseholders and recover via the service charge, he would have to follow the s20 landlod and tenant consulatation procedure if cost would be more than 250 per leaseholder.

 

If it doesnt relate to the actual roof but just internal ceilings then the situation is a bit different, i believe whoever caused damage would be liable for cost, ie if upstairs left bath running, i dont know about insurance, normally the fh would insure whole building but i dont believe this would cover internal problems/damages.

 

Andy

 

Are you in Scotland then ?, freehold doesnt exist in same way as in England abd Wales and the law is totally different.

 

Yes, sorry I should have said that I'm in Scotland and the Factor is what you would refer to as the Management Company.

 

The roof has been repeatedly repaired. The factor has arranged this when a problem has been reported, usually when water starts coming through my kitchen ceiling (my flat is on the 3rd (top) floor). The factor has billed all the residents accordingly for the roof repairs, but the damage to my ceiling is not covered by insurance and the factor is not willing to take any steps to prevent further roof problems or to help me with repairs to my ceiling.

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In england and wales leasehold law is governed by the various landlord and tenant acts but none of these apply to scotland, where strict contract law applies, alas I doubt i cam help further as all my knowledge is about freehold/leasehold law as it applies to england and wales.

 

Andy

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