Thames Water meter caused leak damage to my flat. Pls help.

#1
Dear friends

I am new both to being a landlord and legal issues. I would appreciate any practical advice greatly.

Thames Water, using their subcontractor, installed a water meter into my property at the request of my tenant. Over the course of a month the meter caused a rupture in the pipe (under the kitchen sink) which then caused an unseen leak for a couple of weeks until it was very visible. I contacted a Thames Water (TW) approved plumber who managed to fix it and then wrote on the invoice that the rupture was caused by last installation / work on pipe.

Damage caused to laminate flooring, cables under the floor, kitchen furniture, doorways and rising damp. I put in a claim to TW and now they have referred me to their external insurers because the quotes to repair the damage are above their internal quote buffer.

I realise the tenant may be liable for this to some extent (correct me if Im wrong)...but I have a good relationship with him and would rather try myself to make a claim as landlord/owner of property.

My questions are -

1) should I go through the insurance process and make a claim through them as requested by them?
1a) would my going through an insurance procedure invalidate my legal potential (small claims) in future?
1b) any advice about how to deal with large insurance firms in this situation?
2) should I make a small claims now?
3) Should I be writing to anyone else to get this moving? Ombudsman for water any good?
5) anything I can do to help my case for small claims to get this damage money returned?

Thank you so much in advance to anyone who might be able to help me.

db
 

Jeffrey Shaw

Member
Staff member
#4
The property has a management company insurance block policy yes.
So you need to make a claim on your block policy (either direct to the insurer or via the policyholding reversioner etc.) Explain re Thames Water, its own insurer, the contractor, and T. Your insurer should pay-out what you claim, once it has approved everything; but it may then want to recoup what it pays-out to you by demanding some or all of it back from the other parties; that need not involve you.
 
#6
So you need to make a claim on your block policy (either direct to the insurer or via the policyholding reversioner etc.) Explain re Thames Water, its own insurer, the contractor, and T. Your insurer should pay-out what you claim, once it has approved everything; but it may then want to recoup what it pays-out to you by demanding some or all of it back from the other parties; that need not involve you.

Thank you thats very helpful. I will contact the block insurer directly as the policy holder, themanagement company of block, is ignoring my attempts to contact them about this. They say its my issue not a communal one back when the leak happened a few months ago. However, they have proven to be unhelpful in the past so Im not sure thats right.

Going back to my original question (start of thread), should the block insurers not work out. Should I proceed with the Thames Water insurers? Give them a chance before small claims?
Many thanks in advance