OF LEAKS …

No, not the media sort this time. Over the past few weeks we’ve noticed a wet patch on one end of our kitchen ceiling. It then shrinks, and dries – before starting again, in a slightly different place.

As we had heard that the whole ceiling in our kitchen had come down because of a leak, about 2 years ago, long before we arrived, we were very concerned. We contacted the landlord who owns the flat above (which is now empty) and he told us to switch off the water, which we did. We’re each on a water meter which is housed under the communal stairs, so that was easy.

leaks

Except it didn’t stop. Over the weekend it started again, so first thing yesterday we got in touch with him again. He really doesn’t like trusting other people, and was very cagey, and wouldn’t let either us or the couple in the top flat (whom he has known for a long time) have a key to ‘his’ flat. However, he had agreed to send one to an estate agent and he told us he’d arranged to have a builder friend come and look at the problem.

After a few phone calls Hub tracked down who this guy was and when he was coming, so was able to go upstairs with him when he arrived this morning.

Turns out that a huge section of the bedroom wall upstairs is soaking wet, bubbling the plaster. The builder drained the tank for that flat completely, and discovered that the cause was a black plastic pipe, which had started to perish.

Apparently this is exactly the same fault that caused the previous, disastrous leak. The landlord had somehow patched it up but had not tackled the underlying problem, and had not instructed his builder friend to fix it. No doubt because a new pipe would cost him money …

The odd thing was, that he spent a few days in the flat recently, doing some redecoration. How come he hadn’t noticed?? 🙄

Barely had Hub come downstairs and in our door when the phone rang. It was Youngest Daughter. She had just discovered that her washing machine had been leaking for a long time, but the water had pooled behind the kitchen unit panels, before seeping out into puddles on the floor today.

At least her leak has a clear source and is easy to fix – the pipe joint just needs tightening a bit! And then there’s lots of mopping up, of course …

It’s odd isn’t it, how sometimes problems happen simultaneously 🙄

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32 thoughts on “OF LEAKS …

    1. We don’t know how to get him to mend it properly! It is such an irresponsible attitude. There’s no danger now for us because there is no water going into that flat at all … but does he have a long-term plan other than to make as much money as possible and spend as little as possible?? Ah well, life’s rich tapestry …

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    1. Our opinion exactly, Uncle Frank. Unfortunately, it is not our decision, but the decision of the freeholder who owns the offending apartment. He refuses to mend things as he goes along, which of course results in much greater problems eventually.

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  1. Forms of communal living, like apartments in a block, do have their problems. There has to be blind trust that people who surround your living accommodation will look after it. Your issue looks like willful negligence on the landlord’s part.

    😦

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    1. It is indeed. We spend some time with our top flat neighbours, discussing how best to handle him. Hub is determined to build some trust with him, and we all recognise that if we put him under pressure, he is likely to dig his heels in. Hub’s stratagem seems to help, because this morning, after a number of phone calls, he agreed to authorise the estate agent to give him a key so that Hub could go upstairs and put on his dehumidifier.

      Maybe small steps will get us to the place we need to be … but I’m not holding my breath.

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      1. A dehumidifier for free is bound to appeal to the landlord. Don’t hold your breath too long, it’s not good for you. 😉

        It will be interesting to see how the strategy plays out. I like the appeasing approach. Getting the key is a very good start, but, and this is a big but, what other expectations and responsibilities will go with it.

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      2. It’s the freeholder’s dehumidifier .. . it’s a slightly eccentric set-up here, with the building belonging to the freeholder, who also owns the middle flat (which is completely empty), but the top couple own their own flat, and we co-own ours with the church pensions board. So we have to agree, all of us, before anything can be done on the building as a whole, as we all need to take equal shares in the cost.

        Ah, there’s the rub …

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      3. What a complicated state of affairs. In Scotland, there is the flavour of Roman Law where, if you buy an apartment, you also own a bit of the land on which the building is situated. Leasehold does not apply. There are shared principles like the buildings insurance and maintenance and service costs. The French have a similar way of operating. Not having owned an apt. in Scotland, I cannot tell you anything more about how the shared issues all work in practice.

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      4. There is of course a leasehold agreement and we fall back on this every now and again in order to get the jobs done, as Mr No-Money illustrates how easily one person can sabotage the process.

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  2. 0h i dont envy you with the leak problem i lived in private rented accomodation once and they never want to do anything, if they do its always a slap dash tempory job they dont want to pay for anything.xx

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  3. Oh yes, water always finds an out! Well I hope he has to pay for any redecoration you have to do, after all it was his cutting corners that caused the problem. A lucky escape though, it would have been awful if your ceiling had come down! And how odd about daughter’s leak….I often find that happens!
    My daughter has just moved into a flat in Liverpool, her whole flat seems to be leaking….

    Hubs bought a power shower a few years ago, it has seats, a radio, lovely blue lights, a sauna and every type of spray you could need. I hate the thing and only ever use the hand held shower in it as the side jets are so powerful they almost break your ribs…
    An-y-way…….ever since we’ve had it it’s leaked…..the electricity keep rotting the philingy thingy??????? we have a permanently damp wall and floor! A curse on all fancy showers!!!xxxxx

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    1. :)) it does sound fun though 😉

      Yeah, we pointed out to Mr No-Money that it would be his responsibility … he just said it would be covered by insurance! Does he care? Not a lot 😦

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  4. That is the precise reason why I have never really wanted to live in a flat because there is always someone above you who might leave taps on or there is a leak flooding everywhere 🙄

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    1. Yes, it’s a well-grounded fear, it turns out! Not everyone is as conscientious as us, or the couple in the top flat, it would seem! We lived in 3 flats in Romania, and never had any trouble at all even though it’s a poor country and things don’t work properly. We come home and guess what …. :no:

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  5. Oh do not tell me about leaks!!!! I have had enough of them in my time…last 18 months back and you know the whole of one side of this building had to be evacuated…..and yes….I am also ground floor and had a swimming pool under the floorboards.

    I hope you get that sorted PROPERLY…as the whole place will be damp for ever after.

    I am still having murders with the guys supposed to fix my toilet yesterday.

    P xx

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    1. Well, there’s no water going into that flat AT ALL now, but we shall be keeping a very close eye on things!

      Trouble is, the freeholder, who owns the flat upstairs, cannot be persuaded to part with any money. He is so cagey that he won’t tell us what his plans are, either. We suspect he will put the flat on the market, rather than get more tenants, and he will keep very quiet about the things that are wrong – not only the leak, but also the balcony railing, which is rusted through and unsafe. He said a few weeks ago, when we said we would have to get ours done because it’s in the same condition, that he would have that one done at the same time. We got a quote which would be reduced if we both had it done. But then he pulled out and said he ‘couldn’t afford it’. How someone with numerous properties and lots of rent going to him ‘can’t afford it’ when he’s not doing anything to look after the properties, beats me. :>

      Hope your loo gets fixed soon!!

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      1. My loo is going to be another ‘bodge job’ of my own…. probably be done better than those lazy workmen.

        I guess you have household insurance and you can claim on that if things get to bad and they will claim against him on your behalf.

        Just shows how different some people are…like when the flood happened here a few months back (the washing machine hose fractured in the top flat)….I e-mail Ramesh who is in Australia to tell him and he came back on the next available flight and got it sorted. Since then he has put the rental in the hands of a Managing Agent.

        P xx

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      2. that’s really amazing!

        Trouble is this guy is not our landlord, all we need is for him to take his share of the responsibility for the building, but he won’t, and he never has, according to our top flat neighbours, who are lovely.

        People, eh, Pauline :no:

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      3. Best my memory you have bought that flat which has a leasehold and the guy owns the land it stands upon.

        Pain in the bum!!!!

        There are things you can do to make him right his OWN property…but will cost money initially.

        P xx

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