Q&As

A landlord constructs additional apartments in the airspace above an existing block of apartments. Since the construction work there have been issues of water ingress into flats below. Can the landlord recover the costs of repairing the roof through the service charge if the cause of the water ingress is their own construction work?

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Produced in partnership with Carl Fain of Tanfield Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 14/09/2020

The following Property Disputes Q&A Produced in partnership with Carl Fain of Tanfield Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A landlord constructs additional apartments in the airspace above an existing block of apartments. Since the construction work there have been issues of water ingress into flats below. Can the landlord recover the costs of repairing the roof through the service charge if the cause of the water ingress is their own construction work?

It will depend on the terms of the flat leases as to whether the landlord can the recover the cost of such repair through the service charge.

However, given that the water ingress has been caused by the negligent construction work by the landlord, there may be scope for the tenants to argue that the costs are not reasonably incurred within the meaning of section 19 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. Alternatively, it may be that the lessees would have a claim in nuisance against the landlord for causing the water ingress, or for breach of a landlord covenant, and such a claim (subject to the terms of the leases) could be set off against the service charges for the cost of repair. The damages being the cost to repair the roof.

For further information generally, see:

  1. Practice Notes:

  2. Residential—statutory consultation procedure for service charges

  3. Residential service charges—disputes and procedures

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