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flooding damage, who pays

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« on: April 06, 2021, 11:11:50 PM »

I'm renting a property, my bathtub drain kept getting blocked so I had to clean it all the time. (unscrew it , clean and replace)

when I went to replace it the latest time the screw fell down the pipe. I couldn't retrieve the screw so advised the landlord plumber (he did not advise anything bad would happen)

I continued to use the shower in the bath just placing the drain cover without the screw, unfortunately because the screw is missing the downstairs got flooded and there is now substantial ceiling damage down below.

I feel the landlord is going to ask me to pay for damage, who is responsible and pays?  I feel I didn't do much wrong and didn't willfully cause any damage, the drain only blocks now I realize because the drain cover was old and didn't seal properly. (new drain cover does not collect anything)  thanks for any help.
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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2021, 09:55:19 AM »

I can't understand the link between the drain cover screw and the water flooding? In order for a leak to happen pipes must surely have been split or knocked out of position.Did you poke anything down the plug hole to try to get the screw back,like a wire coathanger?
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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2021, 10:59:39 AM »

If it's serious and expensive it would - possibly - form part of a claim on the Landlord's Insurance... and you should be made liable for any Excess... however, it's hard to grasp the full situation from what's written and one side of the story. The fact that someone doesn't advise anything bad will happen... doesn't mean nothing bad will happen. Bad things happen all the time, sometimes to good people.
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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2021, 11:58:22 AM »

I can't understand the link between the drain cover screw and the water flooding? In order for a leak to happen pipes must surely have been split or knocked out of position.Did you poke anything down the plug hole to try to get the screw back,like a wire coathanger?

The pipe that comes into the tub from below does not connect flush with the bathtub and there was a large gap between. The only thing holding it together and making it watertight (ish) was the screw that goes down the middle of the drain into a connector in the pipe below. Without the screw the hole in the tub and the pipe below match up but there is the gap where it seems the water leaked.  So no I didn't move any pipes or break any pipes
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« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2021, 12:51:45 PM »

One doesn't usually have to mess about with mechanical fixings to eradicate a blockage. It's starting to sound like you did this to yourself... did you try any unblocker products first before you resorted to unscrewing things? What appears to have happened is that you undertook some (what I'd call) DIY and it went wrong - the loss of the screw - and then you just left it... I mean, that's harsh, because you told someone, but it's unlikely they truly understood what was going on (although someone would ideally inspect)... you continued as if nothing had happened... but you knew it had. You obviously knew that screw was there for a reason... mostly they [screws] are. Whether flooding is willful or accidental shouldn't really matter... because it was your actions that instigated it... unless you can prove otherwise, of course.
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« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2021, 02:52:44 PM »

Surely if one knew the important role of the screw,you would not continue to let water pour down,and would insist on urgent repairs? I am assuming you only found out afterwards. If not,then I think your landlord could hold you responsible for paying at least the excess. 
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« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2021, 05:50:12 PM »

Surely if one knew the important role of the screw,you would not continue to let water pour down,and would insist on urgent repairs? I am assuming you only found out afterwards. If not,then I think your landlord could hold you responsible for paying at least the excess.

yes I would definitely stopped if I knew the importance of the screw. I found out the information about the screw holding the pipe etc. and it's importance after the event and maybe it seems obvious now but At the time I didn't realise how important the screw is at all, it seemed like it wasn't even necessary tbh as the drain cover just sits in the hole in the tub without it.
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« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2021, 06:43:44 PM »

One doesn't usually have to mess about with mechanical fixings to eradicate a blockage. It's starting to sound like you did this to yourself... did you try any unblocker products first before you resorted to unscrewing things? What appears to have happened is that you undertook some (what I'd call) DIY and it went wrong - the loss of the screw - and then you just left it... I mean, that's harsh, because you told someone, but it's unlikely they truly understood what was going on (although someone would ideally inspect)... you continued as if nothing had happened... but you knew it had. You obviously knew that screw was there for a reason... mostly they [screws] are. Whether flooding is willful or accidental shouldn't really matter... because it was your actions that instigated it... unless you can prove otherwise, of course.

thanks I understand your points and see what you are getting at -  ie: I did something to cause the issue so my fault. I would say however from a legal standpoint I think the landlord would have to prove that I am negligent. If I kept the dropped screw a secret and denied orders then sure this is possible but I never did this and informed them of the screw incident, I'm not a property lawyer expert person but from reading on the subject negligence is complicated subject, eg: if a tenant runs a bath and overflows the bathroom causing damage you would think the tenant is responsible (the tenant did 'something' to cause issue so their fault right?) but it's usually the landlord who is responsible as the bathroom should have overflow protection in place, or maybe they did have overflow protection and the tenant then is responsible for covering it etc.  so yes I did 'something' but was this negligent or not is not easy to work out, I guess we could ask 20 people and get 20 different answers.
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« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2021, 07:07:22 PM »

Oh well... at least you didn't come here with a fixed outcome in mind.
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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2021, 07:43:41 PM »

Oh well... at least you didn't come here with a fixed outcome in mind.

not at all, just was wondering if anyone had similar experiences and what the outcome was.
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« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2021, 08:59:38 AM »

Possibly the bath drain was not sealed with jointing compound, also possibly the Bath has dropped a little leaving the unsecured waste pipe proud, get them to look at the floorboards as they might be soaked & sagging.
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« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2021, 04:38:15 PM »

The screw is an important piece in all baths/sinks that i have seen. I would fully expect it to not sit flush if it is removed.

Seems like an accident, the root cause being the removal of the screw. How it is paid for will have to be discussed between you and the ladnlord. They might not want to claim on insurance because their premiums will increase for a number of years. I would personally be asking the tenant to pay for the flooding repairs in full.
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« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2021, 09:30:11 PM »

hi an update, 3 months later and out of no-where the landlord has sent me an invoice for the water damage repairs.

an interesting point is this is just a typed word document with some random numbers which could be invented, surely it should be something more official?  anyway..

I have responded saying I talked to his plumber the day after the incident and told him about the screw in the drain, his plumber informed me the water would go around the screw or the screw would be washed away and he would  replace it next visit, he put my mind at ease that there was no major problem. The landlord needs to speak to the plumber who will confirm my story.  If I didn't report the incident promptly I would say I'm liable but I reported it promptly and so don't feel I'm liable at all.  (who is liable is an interesting discussion point..)



« Last Edit: July 17, 2021, 10:00:58 PM by tenant123 »
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