When it comes to property repairs, who is responsible or liable? If a property is in need of repairs, the leaseholder or freeholder has to deal with the financial cost and should deal with repairs immediately. They could potentially have to deal with costs incurred by the leaseholder’s neighbours or any third parties. If the damage to your property affects your neighbours or passers-by, without a doubt, the costs will come to a much higher price than if you just immediately carried out repairs, before anyone else is affected.
Take the case of Mr Smith whose damaged roof causes flooding which affects his next-door neighbours, the Taylors. Mr Smith continually refuses to deal effectively with complaints made by the Taylors because he is holding back, either because of lack of financial resources or is unable to come to an agreement with the freeholder. Both the leaseholder and freeholder could potentially be liable for negligence. Mr Smith’s neighbours are disappointed and begin to get increasingly frustrated and annoyed, so they progress the matter themselves and instruct contractors to carry out repairs. They also instruct a lawyer to write letters to the leaseholder and freeholder.
Freeholders and leaseholders are responsible for repairs to a professional standard and are responsible for compliance with regulations, ensuring that third parties are not affected. Any accidental damages or personal injuries to third parties would immediately and without question constitute negligence liability against the leaseholder or freeholder.
Mr Smith’s neighbours who don’t want to become a casualty, decide to proceed with repairs by instructing contractors, in order to protect their own property and safety. The Taylors are legally entitled to make a claim for repairs and any legal advice they’ve had to seek. Negligence or refusal to carry out repairs to property can be costly, far more than initially anticipated.
If you are in any way affected these issues, please give us a call and we can guide you through your next steps as well as advise you of your legal rights. SG
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