Leak from property above - part 2

New thread as slightly different to the one with the similar title.

I’m the landlord.
Was called at 3am by tenants 5 days ago) : heating system is flat above had burst, water coming through ceiling etc

I want to be fair and correct in working out who does what:

  • Standard Open rent contract
  • Have told tenants to mop up the water etc
  • told them to hire an additional dehumidifier if required (there is already one that I have provided previously). This took 5 days (since - it eventually transpired that they wanted me to indemnify them for rate cost of this before they did do - which I have now done)
  • the block has insurance - but this is structure only - so I think will cover walls, plaster etc but not carpets
  • Am I contact with the owner in the flat from which the water came (it is rented out and they live a long way away) - they do not have insurance,
  • Have contracted my usual decorator with a view to getting a repair quote etc

The flat is still very damp, carpets sodden, smell of mould etc.
What is correct / fair way to proceed and who does what?

  • I assume that any damage to tenant’s personal property is their problem
  • I assume that it is for me to clean / replace carpets and structural damage in due course, with a view to reclaiming form the other party or insurance
  • Is there a legal / moral requirement for me to reduce the rent for the period until repairs have completed (suspect tenants may claim it is uninhabitable)
  • Any thing else to consider?


You have correctly identified your responsibility, that is structure and furnishings you provided on inventory are your/ your insurer’s responsibility.
Your contract may have a clause if the property is not habitable that their rent is not due until repairs are completed or you can contribute to their alternative accommodation. Your insurers may provide alternative temporary accommodation. I would speak to your insurers to see what they will cover.
Tenant’s belongings are normally covered by their own insurance. There was a post on here months ago where some landlords would consider reimbursing tenants for damage to their belongings.
If there is any doubt take legal advice.

It may be advice after the horse has bolted.

We always advise the tenant and in fact insist they have home, accidental damage for just this very reason. Also if they cause damage as a result Of say a washing machine leaking, if they accidentally damage say the carpet (which I have had with a dropped iron whist ironing watching tv in the lounge) it helps protect their deposit. Also for break ins. The list goes on.

I also ask that the policy covers landlords fixtures and fittings. As a result the rent is adjusted to allow for my part being covered. Why double insure for the same thing.

On the other hand if it’s a leak from piping buried in the Floor - (Wood or concrete) your property insurance should cover this.

I would ask the managing agent why the building policy has not been requested to cover leaks and damage. Also for temp accommodation. All our building policies cover this. If this an oversight or incompetence or just money pinching. If you knew this then the landlord takes the risk.

Now back to your situation , the landlord above is responsible for all damage, however far away they live and when they have insurance or not. That’s for ALL your costs and any tenant costs or losses.

Get estimates of costs, yours . Temp accommodation, and contractors and liaise accordingly. Photos etc are always helpful.

Re your tenant

They have a responsibility to mitigate themselves from further damage which should be in your AST. A £100 damage left over days or weeks unreported which then costs £1000 , they have a £900 bill.

You should be paying a contribution to the electricity as dehumidifiers really eat E/L. Even get a couple of profession ones in from a hire company and make sure the property is totally (every window open) vented

It will as is normal to Snell dank whilst drying out and you may have to professionally clean the carpets too. However, the underlay may hold water below which means the carpets have to come up. Worst case you have to sanitise the floor too.

If during covid the tenant is apprehensive about temp moving out perhaps they could stay with friends or family from a week or two whilst the property is drying out. A temp rent recalculation may need to be done considering all facts.

If your decorator doesn’t use stain block the obvious will happen.

It isn’t about you vv the tenant. It wasn’t their fault the water leaked, or a five say delay as you should have arranged the Dehumidiers.

Work with the tenant and when all done, settled and agreed also drop them a couple of bottles of wine as a gesture of goodwill.

You might as well do your property inspection whilst there and check your insurances for the future.

Good luck

I had to deal with a burst pipe in my rental flat that ended up flooding downbstairs flat. Building insurance covered it less excess.
What is worth mentioning the electrician needs to inspect electrics for safety too and that can form part of the claim .

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I disagree a little bit with this. From experience….when our flat was flooded from above, and there was extensive damage caused by upstairs washing machine, we were told (by our own insurer) that the damage inside our flat would be paid for by our insurers, because it was not a malicious or deliberate act. The upstairs insurers paid for the damage inside their flat. Both insurers acted together to pay for repairs to our ceiling / their floor and for a week or so we could see into each other’s flats! which was awkward because it was our bathroom. I compensated our tenants by paying for them to go to the local swimming pool for a shower. We were also told that if the same thing were to happen again in the future, then it WOULD be regarded as negligence as the upstairs owner ought to know now to avoid this sort of event, so on a second occasion, the upstairs insurer would pay.
By the way, as far as I understand it, buildings insurance does cover ‘fixed’ floor coverings, so would cover fitted carpets, but not loose rugs.

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Christine, it not a disagreement at all, its options. Insurers often work together as you say, however, if you claim on your insurance , its a claim, however the insurers sort it. In the long run your premiums go up. One of our properties has had a number of claims over the years from burst pipes in concrete floors resulting in premiums rising from £3k to £8k with no recourse as the properties are leasehold, they get you in the end. Another reason for not buying leasehold properties.

We always claim on the other persons insurance for these reasons and work with our tenants for their insurance as stated. It is also a claim in their name not yours which with changing tenants over the years would impact on you if claims occur.

Buildings cover varies so check carefully what is covered when you take out policies, some even provide temp accommodation where it is deemed appropriate. Now that’s a word that opens a bag of worms!

Thank all. Food for thought.
I guess my problem is that the landlord of the upstairs flat does not have insurance. So there is going to be hassle in trying to get compensation from them: I am already noting an unwillingness to repond to messages :pleading_face:

When my flat flooded from the flat above it was paid for by the buildings insurance covered through the leasehold.
Is that an option?

There is buildings insurance for the block - that I hope will cover anything structural (possibly including plaster), but not carpets and fittings
I am awaiting feedback my rent guard contents insurance for the actual flat.
There will undoubtedly be an excess (I think £500). Am I right in thinking that I can look to the owner of the flat where the water came from for payment of that?
I am told (anecdotally) that the tenants upstairs complained of high pressure on the boiler the day before the incident, and a plumber had been booked for the following day - but it decided to fail magnificently before that

Mine covered plastering, redecoration and reflooring the flat (the wood was water damaged).