Water damage

This topic contains 9 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  CP 3 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #3951

    simonwalter
    Participant

    Hi, I live in Woodhall, a block of 100 council flats. I had a leak from the flat above’s bath waste, it took the council a week to fix it.
    As a result the ceiling of my bathroom is collapsing and the ceiling paper in the hall is coming away.
    I have contacted leaseholder services who as usual were off hand and told me to claim on the Zurich buildings insurance, which means I have to pay the £250 pound excess! So I spoke to Camden claims who said I might get it back if Zurich decide to counter claim from the council (which as the council gave them the contract I doubt…).

    So through their negligence I’ll be £250 out of pocket, I can’t believe this is legal?

    Does anyone have any experience of this kind of thing?

    Simon

    #3952

    emmajah
    Participant

    Hi Simon-

    As it seems the damage was caused by a failure of Camden to maintain the plumbing adequately, you have a grounds to ask Camden to refund you the excess. I had just the same problem, I had to claim but I got the excess refunded from Camden. I went direct to Camden to ask for the refund – not through Zurich.

    The Zurich repairs team, and the many levels of subcontractors, caused me headaches for several months: good luck to you. My advice would be to be as pushy as possible and stay on their backs: don’t let them mess you around. The cost and time of the repairs mean nothing to them, but a huge amount to us the homeowners.

    We pay so much for our service charge: we shouldn’t let Camden or Zurich get away with shoddy service.

    Emma

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by  emmajah.
    #3956

    CP
    Participant

    Hi Emma and Simon

    I have a similar water-related problem due to Camden’s negligence. I am a leaseholder on the top floor of a block of flats. In June this year during the heavy rain, water leaked in through my bathroom ceiling. I have lived in my flat for 13 years and this is the third time this has happened because Camden has never properly maintained the flat roof of the block. All four residents on the top floor of the block suffered the same leak.

    When the leak occurred, my neighbours (all tenants) informed me that Camden were sending round an emergency electrician to disconnect the lights because of the danger posed by water pouring in through the light fittings. They said that I should call Camden to ask the electrician to call round to my place to do the same. I was really furious to be told by Camden’s emergency repair line that I would have to call my own electrician under my home contents insurance since Camden would not deal with any damage within my own flat – even though it had been caused by Camden’s negligence.

    Emma – it is really helpful to know that you have managed to get the excess back from Camden. I’m going to call leaseholder services today to pursue this. I have already had the run around from Camden after writing to complain – directing me to Zurich again. In my past experience, the claim is always assessed at £249.99 meaning that that the leaseholder has to pay. When I called Zurich, they also told me that if they send out a loss adjuster to assess the claim that this amount is deducted from the claim settlement! Even more outrageous.

    Will keep you posted on how I get on
    Celia

    #3957

    GRivolta
    Participant

    Oh Simon,

    I feel for you, I had so 3 leaks in less then a year from the flat upstairs, and it took over 3 months to get them fixed ( each time).
    the first two times the Council refused to refound me the excess from Zurich (no matter how long I had to wait for them to fix the leak), but the third time I wrote to the Complaint Office, quoting all the phone calls and problems I did to them and Apollo ( I REALLY suggest to anyone to keep a record of ALL the phone calls and name of the operators).
    They were very nice, and after an investigation they gave me the rights to a refound. It took a while but I would def suggest you to contact the complaint office, because the council policy it’s not to cover any damage.
    Hope this will help.

    Giulia

    #3959

    simonwalter
    Participant

    Thanks people for the advice, they even had the cheek to quote Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act (1985) to me, especially as a chunk of ceiling fell on me today when I was showering! The implication is we have to pay for any damage they cause, does this mean I can put a brick through a council office window and simply tell them to pay for it? I doubt it.

    Simon

    #3960

    GRivolta
    Participant

    I know it sounds crazy, but they basically consider the plaster on the wall as a “decor” so they won’t cover the cost to fix it.
    That’s my experience ( 3 times and they NEVER agreeded to fix my ceiling), but if you can make them pay for the excess without going trough the complaint process, please, let me know!
    On the other hand, if your flat will leak into one of their properties you won’t have to fix the damage ( at least I guess).

    Giulia

    #3961

    simonwalter
    Participant

    I bet if I flood the flat below they’ll be all over me for payment!

    #3962

    GRivolta
    Participant

    ahaha I wouldn’t be that surprise! they never forget contacting me anytime there is something new to pay!
    But a year ago, my bathroom leaked into the flat downstairs, I got it fixed as soon as I could but they never asked me anything for damages to the ceiling of their flat… at least.. until now!

    #4009

    joshnic
    Participant

    We have had water damage from a walkway that runs across the top of the block flats. After a similar incident a couple of years back I asked for keys to the walkway so I could keep the guttering clear myself but was fobbed off with a line that they would ensure it was done.
    Clearly wasn’t. Bedrooms damaged and plaster coming off the walls. Zurich were quick but the contractors are taking forever. I will try getting a refund given what has happened to others on the forum. If they had kept the guttering clear there would have been no need for me to have to take on excess charges.

    #4012

    CP
    Participant

    I got a £250 refund from Camden to cover the insurance excess for water damage from a roof leak, after Emma (see comment above) suggested trying that route. After I lodged the claim with Zurich, they said that I could leave the claim pending until I had obtained estimates for the repair. At the same time, I sent a complaint to Leaseholder Services asking for the excess to be refunded (because it was the 3rd time I had had a leak). Then surprisingly the next day got a call from a very sympathetic guy in Housing Complaints and a cheque a few days later. I arranged to have the water damage fixed myself and now suppose that I will have to submit the estimates (which are actually invoices since I have already had the work done) to Zurich and see whether they agree to cough up. It’s a bit tricky because the repair work actually only cost just over £250 so hardly worth the hassle of claiming now that Camden have re-imbursed me – though I guess that Camden could think my claim was a scam. Also since they have done nothing so far to repair the roof properly, it is quite possible that I will suffer further water damage in future 🙁

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