The sound of running water, damp areas developing and water pressure falling are common signs of water leaks. As a tenant, the first action to take is contacting your landlord to tell them about the problem. If a dispute arises, we can advise you on the next steps to take.
Responsibility for Water Leaks
The leak is your landlord’s responsibility to fix if it is on your side of the meter, public footpath or external stop valve. If the leak is due to the water meter, it is the water company’s responsibility. The responsibility for a damaged or burst water pipe will depend on which section of the pipe is damaged. One part of the water pipe is called the communication pipe and the other is called the supply pipe. The communication pipe connects the mains water supply to the property boundary and the water company is responsible for this. The supply pipe takes water from the boundary to the property itself and responsibility for it falls on the landowner. If you are tenant, maintenance of the supply pipe is the landlord’s responsibility.
Liability for Damage
Due to the Defective Premises Act 1972, the landlord is responsible for water damage to a rented property and for consequential damage to tenants’ possessions. This is where the landlord’s insurance policy will be referred to. If the landlord does not have insurance to cover an event like this, the landlord is personally liable.
Reporting Water Leaks to the Landlord
You should inform your landlord as soon as there is evidence of a water leak. You should keep records of correspondence with the landlord and any indications of what he or she will do for repairs. Some tenancy agreements will include a term that you must report damage to the landlord. If the landlord does not carry out repairs or does not reimburse you for the cost of damaged possessions then you can take legal action.
How We Can Help
We are particularly experienced in housing disrepair issues and we have a reputation for being able to resolve disputes quickly. Litigation is always the last resort for us and we will negotiate as far as possible. We offer legal advice and representation, and strive to obtain the best outcomes for our clients.
To talk to us about water leaks, please call our Bayswater office on freephone 0800 524 4709 to make an appointment or fill in our contact form.
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