Sharing the cost of a leaking roof

Our lawyer, Katharine Marshall, advises on the process of selecting a quote for repairs to a shared property
Legal cartoon
© Merrily Harpur (harpur.org)
Question: I live on the ground floor of a Victorian house that has been split into two separate flats. The lease says that I share joint responsibility for the building’s maintenance with the other resident.

The roof has recently started to leak and has to be replaced; while I understand I have to bear my share of the cost, is there an accepted best practice procedure for choosing which quote?

My neighbour wishes to take this opportunity to replace the roof with much more expensive tiles that “look nicer”, while I am just interested in the cheapest effective solution. Am I obliged to pay the higher price?

Answer: If your lease confirms that you are responsible for ensuring the roof is replaced, then the lease may also contain a procedure for obtaining a quote for the repair. If it does not, then you can ask your landlord to obtain, say, three quotes so you can check the cost of the work proposed is reasonable.

Unless the lease states otherwise, there is generally no obligation to improve (rather than maintain/repair) roof tiles and therefore you can object to the use of more expensive tiles.

What's your problem?


If you have a question for Katharine Marshall please email legalsolutions@standard.co.uk, or write to: Legal Solutions, Homes & Property, Evening Standard, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5EE.

We regret that questions cannot be answered individually but we will try to feature them here.

Katharine is a solicitor and director at Pitmans Solicitors (www.pitmans.com).

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