Author Topic: Bathroom insurance nightmare drags on til the end of time  (Read 28921 times)

Mrs Pingu

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Re: I have found out why I have a massive damp patch
« Reply #25 on: December 16, 2009, 01:51:14 pm »
Doesn't work like that in Scotland, Domestique - every flat should have it's own buildings insurance cover.
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Re: I have found out why I have a massive damp patch
« Reply #26 on: December 16, 2009, 05:07:01 pm »
The good woman next door had similar problems last year.The down pipe from her toilet/bath was fractured whilst a patterned cement path was laid.The fracture and its resultant effects were un-noticed until her refrigerator fell through the floor boards.

The complete underfloor cavity was filled with fungal growth.It looked like a winter wonderland.

Her insurance company insisted that the complete bottom half of the house was ripped out.Floorboards,joists and most of the plaster off the walls.Anti-fungals and warm air blowers were then in place for several months.As well as the obvious damage repair the other worry was that the fungal infection might cause her own health to deteriorate.

She was homed in a similar` property during the repairs.Ended up with a fully redecorated home,new kitchen and furniture.

Make any insurers work hard for your premiums.'er next door rejected three rentals as unacceptable before she was rehomed.

n
Mal-odorous,liver-spotted, coffin-dodger.

Re: I have found out why I have a massive damp patch
« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2009, 05:39:19 pm »
This is sounding horrendous Kirst, with this and your damaged derriere I'm starting to think you've pissed off the Karma fairy or something..

If you need alternative housing I can offer my spare tent......,   Would industrial quantities of chocolate make life a little better ?
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Eccentrica Gallumbits

  • Rock 'n' roll and brew, rock 'n' roll and brew...
Re: I have found out why I have a massive damp patch
« Reply #28 on: December 16, 2009, 07:34:44 pm »
Presuming this is a converted house/leasehold situation, wouldnt this sort of thing be covered by the building insurance?
No, it's a tenement. Purpose-built flats on 4 floors around a central stair.

Rang a pal in housing section who has found out that although the flat is a private let, the landlord isn't registered, which is not legal, so the lettings bit of the council are going to chase that up, and meanwhile my pal was checking other databases to find out who the owner is.

Eventually got a name and address for the owner, got his number from the phone book, rang him and he said nobody had notified him of the problem. He agreed to send a plumber out straight away but doesn't seem to be appreciating the state of the floor. He mentioned he uses a letting agent so I emailed them tonight

Quote
Dear Sir or Madam
 
I live at 2f3, [my street], directly below 3f3, which I understand you are the letting agents for.
 
Over the past month or so I have been aware of an increasing damp patch on the outside of my bathroom wall, which I have been having investigated. Last night there was water dripping through my bathroom ceiling. When I went up to speak to the tenant in 3f3, he was insistent that everything was dry upstairs. I called out a tradesman who took down part of my false ceiling to reveal that the actual ceiling is dripping wet, running with water and blooming with fungus. We went upstairs to look at 3f3 and my tradesman identified immediately that the toilet overflow pipe in 3f3 is not connected to anything, and the waste pipe for the bathroom sink is not properly connected. The floor under the kitchen sink is wet. It's obvious that the water from the bathroom waste has just been running into 3f3's floor and then my ceiling, and has eventually seeped into the external wall, which has soaked it up like a sponge.
 
I have contacted the owner, (name), and he is arranging for a plumber to attend immediately. However, I must emphasise that my ceiling and therefore 3f3's floor appear to be in an extremely poor condition owing to water damage and it will need to be inspected and repaired by a competent tradesperson. I have notified my insurance company and they will be contacting [owner]. I would be extremely unhappy at the prospect of the tenant using the bath before the floor is inspected and made good as I am very concerned that the weight of the water will collapse the floor.
 
Although I have contacted [owner] directly, I feel it is helpful to let you know the situation also. I must express my concern that the flat has been let with incorrect and inadequate plumbing which has caused considerable damage to 3f3, my flat and possibly to the external wall. I trust you and [owner] will ensure the external wall is inspected and repaired if necessary. Also, I am concerned that the tenant did not seem willing to notify anyone of the problem. I understand that his English is not good, but he insisted that he would fix the plumbing himself today (he stated he is a plumber himself, but he did not seem to have noticed the unconnected toilet overflow or the incorrectly connected sink waste) and did not seem to understand that the situation with the floor could be very serious. When I spoke to [owner] this afternoon, he stated he was not aware of the problem, so I am presuming the tenant has not contacted you.
 
I would be grateful if you would liaise with [owner] to ensure that the floor is inspected and made good, and that the tenant is advised not to use the bath until we are certain it is safe to do so. My insurance company will be in touch with [owner] re the damage to my property, and I will take advice regarding your responsibility for letting a flat with inadequate plumbing.
 
I look forward to hearing from you

My insurance company are going to send out someone to inspect my flat but I've told them there's no point doing the repairs until we're sure upstairs have sorted it out, because if they don't sort it upstairs, it'll just happen again. I've also told the owner of upstairs that he'll be paying any excess on my policy.

Still, it's taken my mind off my arse and my battle with Phones 4 U.
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


Mrs Pingu

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Re: I have found out why I have a massive damp patch
« Reply #29 on: December 16, 2009, 08:29:41 pm »
Well, they come in threes they say? Hopefully this is the end of your run of poo....
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Eccentrica Gallumbits

  • Rock 'n' roll and brew, rock 'n' roll and brew...
Re: I have found out why I have a massive damp patch
« Reply #30 on: December 17, 2009, 08:15:42 pm »
Early this morning my insurance company phoned to say I have 3 options for the repairs. They are

1) get one estimate from a contractor of my choice, and forward that to them with photographs of the damage. They will review the estimate and the damage, which will take 7-10 days, and then give me the go ahead to get the work done, and issue a cheque for the full amount minus the £75 excess.
2) do the repairs myself

once I'd stopped laughing she told me option

3) get the insurance inspectors to inspect it, they will do a report for the insurance company, they will review it which will take 7-10 days and then their people will come and repair it.

I phoned Special Care Bathrooms and said look, if you don't want the job, that's fine and I won't mind, so don't say you'll do it if you don't want it, but if you would like to do it, I'd be delighted to offer you the work. They said yes, so that's good.

When I got to work, the owner of the flat above phoned to say he was meeting a plumber here this morning to inspect the damage, and could I give them access so they can inspect my flat too. And he said "I do know a bit about it because I'm an architect." I managed not to say "but you've let a flat with disconnected plumbing so you really can't be that good" and had a soothing herbal tea and went off to meet him back here.

He came in, flashed his torch around my bathroom, muttered a bit and then said something like "my tenant is a plumber and he's repaired the leak and you just need to keep the ceiling uncovered to let it dry and when you think it's dry, let me know and I'll come and make it good." I felt like he was seconds away from patting me on the head and saying "there there dear, don't worry your pretty little head about it, I'll sort it out." I managed not to hit him, and I told him that I really wasn't happy that he'd let the tenant fix it, seeing as the tenant hadn't noticed the disconnected pipes in the first place, and that I was more concerned about the rotting floor/ceiling, and that he would not be making it good himself, my insurance company would be dealing with it through a contractor of my choice. He didn't seem too pleased about that and wouldn't answer my questions about the safety of the floor. I am not at all happy at his patronising attitude and I will not be taking his word for it that the floor is ok. I will also be submitting a request for him to pay the excess on my policy and if he says no, I will go to small claims for it because I should not be left out of pocket by his wanton incompetence and negligence.

When I got back to work I phoned Garry from SCB and told him what had happened, and that I feel the bloke was patronising me because having a uterus renders me incapable of understanding things about building works. Garry couldn't speak for laughing. I freely admit I am not a builder, my side of disability adaptations is the disability bit, but after 10 years of doing them I have picked up some knowledge, and you don't need a plumbing qualification to know that pipes should connect and floors/ceilings should not be soggy. So Alistair is coming round tomorrow morning to take the photos (lots while it's still wet and looks really bad) and do the insurance report and estimate, but it'll probably be mid-January before the work's finished. I'm really not convinced the owner is taking the floor problem seriously, so I am going to encourage the insurance company to follow that up vigilantly.

I could really do without this, you know.
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


Mrs Pingu

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Re: I have found out why I have a massive damp patch
« Reply #31 on: December 17, 2009, 08:21:09 pm »
Landlord sounds like a right knobend. Still, it's good your insurers are up for letting your friendly contractors do the work, at least you won't have to worry about them as well.
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

RJ

  • Droll rat
Re: I have found out why I have a massive damp patch
« Reply #32 on: December 17, 2009, 08:31:05 pm »
I could really do without this, you know.

Great timing, too just before Christmas.  Still:  at least you've tracked down the upstairs landlord quickly (not always a given) and at least you know trustworthy contractors.  It's nice to get little unexpected bonuses indirectly from a vocational line of work.

Landlord sounds like a right knobend.

Quite so!  Let's hope he gets his from (a) housing and (b) his insurers*.  Actually, given the nature of the plumbing "repairs", mightn't there be a little something for environmental health, too?   O:-)

Here's hoping it's straightforward from here on ...

* - assuming he has any, which is presumably also a legal requirement for private landlords.

Eccentrica Gallumbits

  • Rock 'n' roll and brew, rock 'n' roll and brew...
Re: I have found out why I have a massive damp patch
« Reply #33 on: December 17, 2009, 08:33:54 pm »
It's a legal requirement that landlords are registered and insured. He's not registered, and I wouldn't be surprised if he's not insured. I got the impression he thinks his architectural expertise means he's either immune to problems or can sort them himself. I'd love to know what happens when lettings catch up with him.
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


RJ

  • Droll rat
Re: I have found out why I have a massive damp patch
« Reply #34 on: December 17, 2009, 08:46:54 pm »
I'd love to know what happens when lettings catch up with him.

Yup.  And your insurers, too!  In my very limited experience, if the water's come from the upstairs flat, the owner's liable.

(This was certainly the case when Dr RJ and I arrived home from a Christams visit some years ago to find that the police had broken into our rented flat to let a plumber stop a leak that had brought down the ceiling in the flat below.  The leak turned out to be an incredibly slow seep from - I think - one of the washing machine hoses, that had got under the floorboards and into all the ashy Victorian sound-proofing between those and the ceiling below.  It had probably taken years for things to get that bad.  Anyhow - our landlord just said:  "That's why I have insurance" and it all got sorted out ...).

Eccentrica Gallumbits

  • Rock 'n' roll and brew, rock 'n' roll and brew...
Re: I have found out why I have a massive damp patch
« Reply #35 on: December 17, 2009, 08:56:29 pm »
All the deafening between the upstairs floor and my ceiling is soaked and rotten. I dread to think of the state of the joists. It's obviously been going on for months, if not years.

Landlord sounds like a right knobend. Still, it's good your insurers are up for letting your friendly contractors do the work, at least you won't have to worry about them as well.
I know, I'm so relieved.

And I've asked our housing guys to check that the owner wasn't on our list of approved architects cos he's clearly a top bellend. He's not. I don't think he ever will be now!
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


Re: I have found out why I have a massive damp patch
« Reply #36 on: December 17, 2009, 08:59:43 pm »
It's the flat dwellers nightmare.   The flat below me has had it's ceiling down twice.  Water seepage from a bad joint in my concrete balcony.

Barrrats  also used inadequate guttering and downpipes when they renovated the place and the balcony became a swimming pool in bad weather

Luckily that's external so comes under the building insurance for the entire block rather than myself being liable.  It wasn't until we got rid of the useless management company that it was fixed though.
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

Eccentrica Gallumbits

  • Rock 'n' roll and brew, rock 'n' roll and brew...
Re: I have found out why I have a massive damp patch
« Reply #37 on: December 18, 2009, 10:21:04 am »
Alistair and Kenny have just been out. Half my bathroom ceiling and half my bathroom floor are rotten through, and the entire bathroom has to be ripped out, made good and put back together and I'll probably have to move out while it's done.

And the thing I'm most upset about is my beautiful matt white bathroom tiles which are the only tiles I have ever seen that I really like and they're all going to have to come off.
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


Re: I have found out why I have a massive damp patch
« Reply #38 on: December 18, 2009, 10:52:58 am »
That's crummy. At least  you can trust the guys who are doing the work - they have reasons to ensure they do a good job.

+1 Mrs Pingu. Let the insurers perform the knobectomy.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Mrs Pingu

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Re: I have found out why I have a massive damp patch
« Reply #39 on: December 18, 2009, 11:04:26 am »
Oh dear, floor too, I take it that because it's been running down the outside wall - does that mean that your downstairs neighbours will have a rotten ceiling as well?
Lots of hugs Kirst  :-*
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Re: I have found out why I have a massive damp patch
« Reply #40 on: December 18, 2009, 02:19:15 pm »
Feel for you, Kirst.
Angry that you're having to go thru all this because of other people's selfishness and incompetence  >:(

Eccentrica Gallumbits

  • Rock 'n' roll and brew, rock 'n' roll and brew...
Re: I have found out why I have a massive damp patch
« Reply #41 on: December 18, 2009, 08:08:48 pm »
Oh dear, floor too, I take it that because it's been running down the outside wall - does that mean that your downstairs neighbours will have a rotten ceiling as well?
Lots of hugs Kirst  :-*

Probably. I need to go and talk to them about it. It'll have to wait till tomorrow.

I eventually got into work about half past ten, and I just sat with my head on the desk and whimpered until it was time to leave for Christmas lunch. I told my boss that was what I was doing, and she said that was fine.  :D Yes, I'll have a lovely new bathroom at the end of it, with skirting board that goes all the way to the end of the wall instead of finishing about a foot short, and the decorating will be of professional standard rather than my pisspoor efforts, and it'll all be better, but that's not the point.  >:( :'(
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


Re: I have found out why I have a massive damp patch
« Reply #42 on: December 18, 2009, 08:25:41 pm »
And the thing I'm most upset about is my beautiful matt white bathroom tiles which are the only tiles I have ever seen that I really like and they're all going to have to come off.

Get the chaps to take a few off now, go around the tile dealers and see if they can match them.  Or find something you like more, after all, _you_ aren't going to pay for them.

You've been dealt a crap hand, try and make it work for you as much as possible. 

Hugs'n'stuff  :-*
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

Eccentrica Gallumbits

  • Rock 'n' roll and brew, rock 'n' roll and brew...
Re: I have found out why I have a massive damp patch
« Reply #43 on: December 18, 2009, 09:03:52 pm »
I am considering insisting that they cover every available surface with either solid silver sheets, or Fired Earth £300 per square inch tiles, just so cockwomble the owner has to cough up.
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


Re: I have found out why I have a massive damp patch
« Reply #44 on: December 18, 2009, 09:10:37 pm »
I am considering insisting that they cover every available surface with either solid silver sheets, or Fired Earth £300 per square inch tiles, just so cockwomble the owner has to cough up.

Solid silver is a little vulgar, that's so not you......

And the nicest flat you can find if you have to move out for a while, with a big jacuzzi, and enough room for a party  :demon:
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

Eccentrica Gallumbits

  • Rock 'n' roll and brew, rock 'n' roll and brew...
Re: I have found out why I have a massive damp patch
« Reply #45 on: December 18, 2009, 09:26:56 pm »
The Borough Hotel Edinburgh,Restuarant,Bar,Contemporary,Boutique Hotel Accommodation is very nice and not far from me. That would do. And you could all come round for cocktails every night.

I'm gutted about my bathroom tiles. I am very particular about tiles - I hate patterned tiles, and glossy ones give me the heebie-jeebies. Mine are beautiful matt white ones and across the middle of the wall there's a row of them but with chrome insets in the middle. That one row of 20 tiles cost me more than the entire wall of plain tiles, but they're so worth it.

They're going to have to remove all the existing fittings (which I'm not fussed about - the bath was £25 ex-display from Homebase, the basin is a teeny tiny wash-hand basin the fitters managed to source at wholesale price for me because nothing bigger will fit (the bathroom's only 10'7" by 3'1") and the toilet is a corner toilet fitted to a false bulkhead at the end of the bath. If the stuff breaks when it's removed, which it often does, it'll need to be replaced. They'll have to rebuild the ceiling and the floor then relay the floor (my lovely white sparkly Amtico tiles will have to go and be replaced - with new sparkly white Amtico tiles), and paint and decorate and tile and fit a new light fitting, and then bath, shower over it, toilet and sink, and my very expensive bathroom mirror with integral lights and I will kill them if they break that, and they can fit a new skirting-board which actually goes right to the end of the wall, and they might as well put a shaving socket in while they're there. And they can box the boiler pipes in too, and do a new neutral board for my fuse box as well. Although I doubt I can say that was affected by water seeing as it's at the other end of the flat.

I will have a much nicer bathroom than the botch job with occasional fantastic bits (tiles, floor, mirror) surrounded by crapness I have now, but I'm not yet able to look on the bright side.
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


Re: I have found out why I have a massive damp patch
« Reply #46 on: December 18, 2009, 10:07:46 pm »
10'7" by 3'1"   Luxury !

I've got a toilet, shower tray with curtain and washbasin in a room that's about 4'x4' !

When I moved in it was a disgusting coral pink  :sick:    I replaced it with white floor, soft, dove grey tiles on the walls and a matching suite.  It was only after I'd finished it that I realised that it was the same grey that BT were using on their vans at the time....!  Talk about brainwashed...

It's a nice , neutral scheme and I've alternated between pink and blue for shower curtains and mats. 

Wish I had a bigger one though  ....  ;)
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

Mrs Pingu

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Re: I have found out why I have a massive damp patch
« Reply #47 on: December 18, 2009, 10:11:02 pm »
A corner toilet??
You need to take pictures of how awful it is, just to make sure you get an extra warm fuzzy glow when it's all lovely and shiny and new and dry and fixed.
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Eccentrica Gallumbits

  • Rock 'n' roll and brew, rock 'n' roll and brew...
Re: I have found out why I have a massive damp patch
« Reply #48 on: December 18, 2009, 10:13:46 pm »
When I moved in here, the bathroom was a sickly seagreen and navy blue - not great for a tiny room that doesn't get much light. And it was all woodchip. I spent weeks of my life stripping woodchip from this flat.

At the moment I have one long wall and one short wall, and the floor and ceiling and woodwork in white, and the other long wall is a really nice pink, not too girly and not sickly. I'd like to keep a lot of white to maximise the light, but maybe I'll go for one turquoise wall. Maybe I'll mirror the wall instead! And the floor! And go for black grout between the mirror tiles for an 80s-tastic disco vibe, and I'll put my glitterball in there instead of the kitchen.

I think the cocodamol is getting to me.

I have no choice but to have a corner toilet. There's no way to get a non-corner toilet in. The room's just too narrow.
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


Re: I have found out why I have a massive damp patch
« Reply #49 on: December 18, 2009, 10:24:55 pm »
. Maybe I'll mirror the wall instead! And the floor!

Mmmmmmm.......Mirrors...... :demon:
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark