How To Handle A Leak In Your Property
At urbanbubble, we deal with leaks on a daily basis. They are extremely common in apartment schemes, especially older managed builds that have deteriorated over time. There are all sorts of sources from which leaks can occur, from communal pipework, to appliances within the building, to windows during bad weather.
If you notice a leak in your own property, it’s vital to act fast and follow the correct process to resolve the issue and minimise damage. To guide you in the right direction, here are the four steps you’ll need to follow:
Step 1 – Identify the leak
As soon as you notice a leak, your first priority should be attempting to identify the source. The more information we have when assessing the cause of a leak, the easier and quicker it will be to assign and repair.
Leaks can stem from three main sources: communal piping, internal pipework or external water ingress.
- All communal pipes (lines that service multiple apartments) are the responsibility of the management company.
- Interior leaks from appliances like toilets, showers, sinks and boilers all fall under the remit of the leaseholder.
- Exterior water ingress from the roof, cladding, pointing etc. come under the responsibility of the management company.
The main stop tap in your apartment is located in your water cupboard. If your leak is coming from the toilet, shower, sink or another appliance, turn this off immediately to prevent the flow of water and restrict further damage. If the stop tap is located within the communal water cupboards, access should be requested via our BSA, whose details can be found on notice boards within the building.
If the leak is coming from above, attempt to find the flat number and determine whether the resident has been using any appliances. urbanbubble do not hold contact details for individual tenants, so try to get a contact number for the resident – this will help aid the process of sourcing the leak.
Step 2 – Who repairs the leak?
Once you’ve identified the possible cause of the leak, it’s important to call your managing agent, leaseholder or letting agent as soon as possible.
- If the leak appears to be coming from communal pipes, call urbanbubble.
- If the ingress is coming from the roof or an external source, call urbanbubble.
- If the leak is coming from one of the fixtures or fittings within the apartment, call your landlord, letting agent or a plumber.
- If the leak is coming from the apartment above, make contact with your neighbour and advise them of the leak. The process of this blog will then begin again.
Often it can be difficult to determine the source of a leak; in these instances, you should contact urbanbubble on 0161 236 3344. We will be able to advise on how to proceed.
You should try to gather any evidence that will help us identify the problem. We deal with these issues on a daily basis, and pictures can often help us determine whether it’s a common occurrence or something that requires further investigation.
If a leak is getting worse and the property is suffering increasing stress, your call will be prioritised as an emergency within four hours. Any leaks that have led to flooding in your (or any other) apartment will also need to be attended to as soon as possible. Minor leaks will be prioritised as urgent, and actioned within 24 hours.
Step 3 – Await assistance
Our managed blocks have a permanent BSA who can attend your apartment and investigate the cause of the leak straight away, and turn off the communal stop tap if necessary.
If the problem falls under urbanbubble’s remit, our plumbers will attend on an emergency basis to investigate, action and report on the leak. We will give them your contact details, so they can liaise with you directly.
We will always do what we can to stop the escape of water on the first visit; in certain scenarios multiple visits may be necessary if further parts are required.
For some leaks, the plumber may need to cut holes within walls and flooring to gain access to the source. In the event that this needs to take place in your property, we will always conduct remedial works, putting the area back to its original state, so that it doesn’t impact you or your deposit if the property is rented.
Step 4 – Insurance claim
urbanbubble provide a buildings insurance policy, which covers the structure of the apartment, building and its communal areas for the escape of water and any damage caused.
However, individual contents of flat owners and/or tenants should be insured separately. This would include, amongst others, items such as free-standing kitchen appliances, furniture, audio visual equipment and carpets.
The policy DOES NOT cover repairs to any pipework, wear and tear, or any maintenance related issues.
There is commonly a £500 excess to pay for any claims made by the leaseholders of the apartment (this may vary per policy). The liability of the excess will lie with the person making the claim unless the damage has been caused by a communal issue.
urbanbubble have an insurance broker who will guide you through the process. If you would like to raise a claim, we will send you a form to fill out and our brokers will manage the process from thereon.
There’s nothing more important to us than our residents’ safety. That’s why we make ourselves available to you every week day between 9.30am and 4pm – with a dedicated emergency line hosted outside of office hours. If you’re experiencing a leak and require support, call our team on 0161 236 3344 or 0161 393 2028 if out of office hours