‘Snow Sunday’ soon gave way to ‘Burst Pipe Monday’ as temperatures rocketed after one of the coldest December temperatures on record in 2022. The thaw lead to a surge in burst water pipes across the nation.
Sometimes this can’t be prevented but where do you stand if damage is caused to your property?
Firstly, if the leak is discovered within a boundary of a property, you should be considering seeking the services of a registered plumber and contacting your home insurer.
If you’re in a tenement property where the outer water piping is shared, you all may share the responsibility for maintaining the pipes. If there’s a leak, you will likely have to share the cost of fixing it, according to the rules in the title deeds. If there’s nothing in the title deeds then legislation called the Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004 has a set of rules that can be used to settle any arguments about who is responsible for which part of the building.
If there’s a leak in the mains pipes, Scottish Water will normally have to fix it. This is because the mains pipes bringing the supply to your property are the responsibility of Scottish Water up to the boundary with your property.
If a leak has caused damage to your property, there may be a dispute about who is responsible for the repairs. In the first instance, you can ask your neighbour to pay for the repairs. If they refuse to pay you can take them to court for damages due to negligence. You’ll only be successful if you can prove that your neighbour didn’t take reasonable care to prevent the leak from happening. This can be a challenging hurdle to overcome particularly given the recent weather patterns. However, if your neighbour has allowed their property to fall into a state of disrepair, you may have a claim against them.
If you have experienced an issue with burst pipes then it is important to find out where the leak is located and seek legal advice. If you require advice you can call our team today to discuss your case and assess what your best next steps will be.