Leaks from above

Leaks from above are one of the most common issues homeowners and tenants face. We now have a dedicated leaks from above team who deal with leaks that come from another property above you.

If you have a leak from a neighbouring property

Call our specialist leaks from above contact centre on:

  • 0800 952 4444
    • choose option one for repairs, then option three for leaks from above

The team includes officers who will follow up on your repair from start to finish. The team will keep you updated with what you need to know until the leak is resolved. We can’t always give you exact dates or information for repairs to other people’s properties (as this breaches data protection), but we'll explain what we can and ensure you have the information you need.

Following a leak into your home if you're a tenant, we'll arrange to come and inspect your home for damage. We'll repair areas that are affected (if they need it). If you had damage to your belongings, you'll need to claim this from your contents insurance.

Things you can do to help before we arrive

The most important thing is to try to find out where it's coming from, get access and get the repair done quickly:

  • if the leak is coming from your neighbour, try to speak to them straight away as they may not realise there's a problem
  • if the water could affect your electrics switch off all your appliances and lights immediately
  • place a bucket or bowl under the leak to catch the water and move your affected belongings if possible until we arrive

If the leak is from a leaseholder’s flat, it is the leaseholder’s responsibility to ensure the necessary work to fix the leak is carried out as quickly as possible. We'll work with leaseholders to help them get these works completed as quickly as possible. In cases where communication between any parties proves problematic the council, where possible, will do its best to provide support to resolve the issue.

If your neighbour has a leak from your home

You must do all you can to stop the leak quickly. If we need access to your home it's important you allow us entry; otherwise you could be charged for the extra damage. If you don’t allow us access, we may need to arrange a forced entry, which will result in more charges to you.

Common causes of leaks are:

  • damaged tiling and bath seals
  • leaks under baths or hidden pipes
  • water splashing whilst bathing or shower curtains not fitted properly
  • a fridge defrosting
  • a loose washing machine connection
  • a blocked sink

If you notice a leak within your home, turn off your stop-valve immediately.

If you're a tenant, report the repair to us by calling the team on 0800 952 444. If you're a leaseholder, you'll need to pay a plumber to repair the problem (unless it's a communal pipe). If you have tenants who rent your property, you must ensure they allow the repairs to be done.

We can normally work with you to make appointments earlier in the morning or can sometimes offer weekend appointments for leaks from above works. The team can discuss this with you in more detail if you give us a call.

If you have an issue that's reoccurring or you require some more information on the service, email us at repairs@southwark.gov.uk. Someone from the leaks from above team will answer you directly.

Tenants, leaseholders and freeholders have different responsibilities for repairs. If you'd like to know what yours are, visit our repairs rights and responsibilities page.

Leaks other than from a property above you

  • if you have a leak that is affecting a commercial property, contact your commercial lettings officer who will arrange the repair for you
  • if you have a leak affecting a communal area or garage, call the contact centre on 0800 952 4444 and we'll arrange for our in house repairs team to undertake the repair

If you have a leak coming from the roof, call the contact centre on 0800 952 444 and we'll arrange for our roofing team to undertake the repair.

Other concerns

We come across a number of concerns when we're resolving leaks and by engaging with us we can normally help. Some examples are:

  • bathing method - we understand that a number of residents prefer to bathe using buckets, jugs or pitchers; this method of bathing does produce more splashback and water on the floor, but we can normally help manage this by providing shower curtains or looking at the tiles and flooring to make sure they're sealed - call us if you'd like us to visit your home and take a look
  • overflowing wash hand basins and baths can be easily done when distracted but can cause a lot of damage; if you or a relative are having problems remembering to check the water level or are getting distracted, call us as there's easy to fit equipment we can supply you with to solve the problem
  • sometimes the water will go off to certain areas when work is ongoing; ensuring that you close your taps once you've checked means you won’t cause flooding when you're not at home

Page last updated: 05 December 2022


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