The down side is events like this which has happened to one of my properties:
- the tenant complained about a leak. On investigation, the leak was coming from a water pipe belonging to the the unit immediately above mine
- the owners of the leaking pipe denied that it was anything to do with them and refused to act
- the building manager said that they had no power to intervene
- the buildings department eventually inspected the premises and confirmed that the leak was coming from a poorly maintained pipe that belonged to the upstairs unit (fortunately it is fresh water)
- the upstairs unit owners refused to do anything until several rounds of legal demands and threats had been exchanged
- they claimed to have fixed the leak before Christmas. It is still leaking but they deny that the leak has anything to do with them
- legally, I cannot touch their pipe to do the repair myself without committing a criminal offence
The current position is that I expect the tenant to walk. I also expect that the accumulated water damage will require a significant part of the kitchen fit out to be replaced (but this cannot be done until the leak is fixed). I have told the owners of the upstairs unit that I will sue to recover every cent (and I will do so). I have also pointed out that, as a lawyer, it does not cost me very much to commence proceedings.
This is only the second time in 16 years of property ownership that I have had to deal with a significant problem. In that sense, I suppose I have been lucky.