Water damage due to broken bathroom sealant

I don’t think you can charge for this. Silicone replacement is something that is required quite regularly. We have had leaks from this and now do it routinely quite frequently. Yes a pity the tenants didn’t report it sooner but equally you should have kept an eye on it.

The other common cause of this is baths not being fixed securely to the wall. If there is any movement the silicone breaks very easily in which case the bath needs extra support along the wall which may entail removing the bath and fixing a batten to support the edge.



yeah… but then I pay more tax so…

Why would you charge the tenants? You did your check that was your opportunity to raise it! It’s a landlord repair lack of cleaning done by the tenant would not have had any effect. Charging tenants for upkeeping a property isn’t fair or valid-sorry but you did ask :slight_smile:

Because I request that if something leaks or breaks or causes any damage or potential damage to the flat then tenants inform me of it so I can fix it before it causes a lot more damage.
If the tenants had informed me as soon as the sealant started to crack and as soon as the plaster in the bedroom started to swell then it wouldn’t have caused so much damage.
I don’t live with them in the flat, nor do i go round there every week to check for leaks. They are grown ups and have a responsibility to report issues. This wasn’t report in a timely way and so the damage caused is far greater than if they had.


Hi Landlady,

This is unfortunately an issue that could become a dispute. To avoid that I would just get it repaired but get a couple more quotes first. The bill can be charged against tax.

Sometimes I’d easier and less stressful to just take it on the chin and fix it. Hotels have this issue all the time and absorb the cost. It’s ware and tear at the end of the day. You must check that the extractor fan is sufficient for the bathroom, as condensation can cause issues like this too. However, if the tenant was clearly negligent, you will have to spell out their responsibilities in writing to avoid any further issues.

Hope this helps.

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Thanks yes, I have had someone else to assess and will be repairing in the break between tenants. These guys are leaving in a week.
I have never charged a tenant for wear and tear against the deposit before but I do think they are responsible for the damage to the bedroom wall by not reporting the water escape.
I will try and get it fixed as economically as possible but i do intend to claim on the deposit for this and some other breakages.

Extractor fan is the most powerful permitted for a bathroom circuit.

I thought I would weigh in. I cannot add very much, but my own experience with water escapes and bathroom mould.

First, the bathroom should have suitable heating to avoid damp. Many people assume just extractor fans and an open window does the job. However, in the cold weather conditions we experience across the UK, I found myself still dealing with small bits of mould growing. Sure enough, I replaced the towel heater with a good bathroom certified electrical heater and it works a treat. Not only do I now have a warm bathroom, the mould problem never came back. For rented properties, cord fan heaters are likely better because tenants won’t want to foot the bill for a room they do not use very much. This is a mistake many landlords make. Unsuitable heating, contributes to the problem.

Secondly, water leaks are incredibly difficult to spot many-a-times. I had a leak under my sink, I didn’t notice it until I spotted the wood swelling. It was a slow leak. The damage took weeks to develop and it was not noticed because it’s not a cupboard we open very much or for very long.

But in the context of leaks, my neighbour had a bathroom slow leak in the drain. They didn’t notice until one day I came back to my flat flooded when the pipe finally dislodged completely. By this point, it was too late, the damage had been done and the tenant could not be blamed because the pipework was hidden and dislodged because of bad workmanship.

The point I am trying to get to is that in the event of a dispute, it is very unlikely that something caused most likely, in my view, as a result of poor workmanship and choices on property up-keeping would be blamed on the tenant.

All the extractor fans, dehumidifiers and heating in the world are not going to cure a bad original sealing job. You can clearly see on the photos there is insufficient sealant used and it has come away from the wall, leaving a gap. The entire bead has blackened because the entire bead has come away from the wall and water got in under it because not enough was used to begin with, so it didn’t get enough contact surface area on the wall to be able to adhere.

Thanks for your reply, makes me reluctant to use the same plumber to do the job to fix.
He is also quoting £950 to redo the sealant and repair the plaster
It is impossible to get a workman to even quote fir work like this.
I can certainly do the sealant myself, but plastering is a bit more tricky.

Try “my builder”. Upload photos, describe job, wait for quotes to arrive.

And Facebook can be good for finding self employed tradesmen looking for work

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That is because the edge of the bath does not seem to be into the wall and probably not braced enough underneath

How do you judge that Colin? When the bathroom was last done, the builder did ‘over tiling’ so it now has two layers of tiles all the way round. There isnt much edge of the bath showing so to me it looks like it is well tucked in under the tiling. The previous problem was that the gap was too large for the sealant, so was always a job to build it up to fill the gap. Now the gap is smaller, but still seems to be problematic.
It doesn’t seem to matter how much you spend on these jobs, the workmen always seem to do it poorly according to the next person you get to sort it.

Is it a plastic bath or metal ?

You shouldn’t tile on tile
You’ve probably got movement and water seeping through the grout
We always gut ourselves so it’s done properly or at least stand with them so you get the job you want
Trades don’t like doing the grunt work
They want the site prepped for them ( not sure why they do this job in the first place sometimes)


Bath is plastic. A few people have said tile on tile isn’t ideal. But at the time the bathroom fitter said it was the best solution.

I think the workman is more responsible than the tenant
I would take the workmen to mcol and leave the tenant out of it.
I would also change your guy
If workmen are available at this time of year either they have had a cancellation or they aren’t very good.
Most people are now booked till the end of the year.
I would find another tradesman.
My mentality either he’s incompetent or he’s sabotaging work to create more work for himself.
Using the same guy now is a recipe for disaster. The fact he told you it was the best solution at the time suggests he was creating more work for himself. His first advice was bad so why trust him a second time?

Ask your other trades if they know a bathroom fitter but tell them they have they have to take off double layers of tiles as it will cost more if you are not doing it yourself.
I would take the time to sort out the bathroom properly so you don’t keep having voids and losing good tenants.
I would also get my own individual trades rather than leaving it to one guy to sort out with his mates !
They cover their problems up!
When you get your own guys in they highlight issues.
It will be a learning experience.
One void is a lot cheaper in the long run but I do realise every situation is different .

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I never use plastic . They need more bracing underneath when fitting. See my previous post. Tile on tile = lazy tiler

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Take note of what A-A has said all spot on.

I’d also consider abandoning tiling for cladding in bathrooms I’ve used plastic cladding to refurb all our rental bathrooms and it so much easier to clean and maintain than tile. You’ll still have the issue of how to seal the bath against it though.