Tenants Win £15,600 Damages over Leaky Pipes

Tenants Win £15,600 Damages over Leaky Pipes

Almost every flat lease requires tenants to avoid activities that might cause damage, or annoyance or nuisance to fellow residents. One such clause became the focus of a case in which a couple who endured a series of water and sewage leaks into their basement flat won substantial damages from their upstairs neighbours.

The leakage incidents, some more serious than others, were spread over a 12-year period and were largely caused by deplorable workmanship in internal renovation works carried out to the upstairs flat. Pipes serving a Jacuzzi, a bath and a toilet all leaked intermittently and the downstairs tenants, who had logged more than 80 incidents, felt obliged to move out for a time.

The upstairs tenants argued that many of the problems stemmed from existing damp in the basement flat and were a consequence of the somewhat dilapidated condition of the whole building. It was accepted that they were not responsible for all the water damage, but a judge found that much of it was a direct consequence of their failure to employ properly qualified tradesmen to work on their flat. They had breached a covenant in their lease and were ordered to pay £15,600 in damages to the downstairs tenants.