Leak from flat above

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M
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We have a flat,managed by an agent, which had a leak through the ceiling a few months ago. Our tenant made a small hole and kept damage to a minimum". Our agent contacted the management company who then agreed to pay for the repairs to our flat and then delt with the leak. We do not know the source of the leak as the management company do not readily reply to phone, email or post and they would not tell us the cause. We have now had another leak which has caused damage to the decor and kitchen cabinets. Our agent contacted the management company who, this time, are not interested. They will not supply the details of the owner (understandable) nor will they send details of our claim to them. The tenant of the above flat is rarely there and we have not managed to get any information from them.
The following is part of an email from our agent to the management company.
"XXXX XXXX (management company) made payment for the same incident on a previous occasion: if you are now saying that they are not liable for the damage, can you please supply details of the owner of the property who is liable No86.
It will be necessary for us to make a claim against them in order to recover cost for our client.

I would appreciate a swift response

Regards"

The reply from the management company was -

"I am well aware of the position but have not responded because (member of staff) has already explained everything to you in some considerable detail. Although I have nothing to add, I will try and explain, as follows.

Where the management company has responsibility for any leakage it pays in full. Where it does not it uses its good offices to liaise and generally help. This might involve the use of the insurance policy if the matter is substantial and justifies it. The policy, as with all block flat management policies, carries an excess. This is normal and it enables the company to avoid having to make small and/or spurious claims which keeps the premium as low as possible and everyone gains from that including your clients. Your claim falls under the excess in any event.

We cannot pay you from company funds because the company has not caused the problem. If we did everyone on the estate would be contributing to paying your client and that would clearly be wrong. You might think this unfair but it is not and is just one of the issues faced by owners of flats in blocks. We have tried very hard to both help and to explain but, in the end, it is a matter for your clients and not for the management company."

Do you think the answer from the management company is correct? It doesn't seem right to me and I feel we should take the matter further but, as we do not know who the owner of the above flat is, do we take action against the management company to get the details of the owners so that we can take action against them?

Any help would be appreciated.
21/02/2014 16:25

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