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Water Seepage: options as a landlord

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  1. #1

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    Water Seepage: options as a landlord

    Hi all,

    I have a flat that I renovated three years ago ina a very old building. There is management office, but it's not really functional
    (any complaint call goes "we will call you back", and no call. When I call back to follow up, PIC is "busy" and never allow follow up on same issue).

    After living there are 2 years, we experienced some water seepage issue. We complained to the management office, but in vain.
    I even had insurance company come to inspect, and they wrote a legal threatening letter to the management office.
    After that, management office came to "inspect" once but nothing happened then.
    When I followed up with insurance company, they said only option would (to recover costs/loss) would be to file a claim in small claims tribunal.
    As I did not want it to show up on land search, I did not.

    After 3rd year of living, I moved out and rented out to a tenant. The tenant complained in week 1 that bedroom water seeped and there is mould (we did Wallpaper so even slighest seepage would cause mould).

    We agreed on fixing for 25k (inject waterproofing material from inside the house, which will last up to 2 years). Tenant asked for 3 weeks hotel fee + 1 month extention on rent free period. I was a bit speechless (I agree on extending rent-free period OR paying hotel during fixing period, but not both). But to be in good terms, I agreed. Repair only lasted 1 week.

    Now, the kitchen has water seepage issues. Tile is cracked and tenant said he doesn't feel safe.
    I said I am happy to arrange similar waterproofing arrangement + have tiles fixed like the previous time.

    He said issue is not the same (how does he know though?).
    Anyways, I asked, what do you want me to do? (I genuinely wanted to know).
    I am legally not allowed to touch external wall as a landlord (only IO / Management Office can).
    The only repair works I can do is from inside, or escalate to useless management office.

    I did file a complaint to Buildings Department to inspect external wall, hoping that this year's concrete chunk falling will make them take more proactive actions.

    The only option I can think of is, if he doesn't agree on a temporary fix then he can just terminate the contract?

    Open to suggestions here...

    Rob2020 likes this.

  2. #2

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    Not a good market, but selling?


  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by drumbrake:
    Not a good market, but selling?
    Probably yes...
    who knows with all those issues with concrete falling in old building if anyone will want anymore.

    But I was more of thinking what to do regarding tenant.
    I do suggest a few options but all he rejects?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by WineLuver:
    After 3rd year of living, I moved out and rented out to a tenant. The tenant complained in week 1 that bedroom water seeped and there is mould (we did Wallpaper so even slighest seepage would cause mould).
    are you certain it is not seepage from above or adjacent unit? photos?
    didn't do any research before wallpapering? wallpaper (other other plastic type finishes) in air conditioning spaces will cause to be trapped moisture inside the wall, which accumulates, providing both food and water for mold -- that's not related to the condition of the external wall.





    do you have DMC, what does it say about the structure?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by JAherbert:
    are you certain it is not seepage from above or adjacent unit? photos?
    didn't do any research before wallpapering? wallpaper (other other plastic type finishes) in air conditioning spaces will cause to be trapped moisture inside the wall, which accumulates, providing both food and water for mold -- that's not related to the condition of the external wall.

    do you have DMC, what does it say about the structure?
    Thanks for the reply.
    At least bedroom was related to water seepage from external wall as during heavy rain water did accumulate (we can literally squeeze water from water pocket after poking a hole).

    For kitchen, the contractor did mention during renovation. I paid to fix, which obviously wasn't fixed properly (he did a bit of shoddy work in general).

    I did take a look at DMC and it does say shared area (e.g., external wall) is responsibility shared by all the owners.
    But again, with management office not responding not much I can directly to do make them do it.

    Other option is to do it myself and file a claim in small claims court (as suggested by Buildings Department and Insurance Company) in case of non-action by management office, but that will make a permanent mark in Land Search which will make it much more difficult to sell, so not worth it. Still, I have no right to fix external wall as it is not "mine" to fix

  6. #6

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    you contracted the wrong department, BD is not going to help, you should contact Home Affairs dept.

    shri likes this.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by JAherbert:
    you contracted the wrong department, BD is not going to help, you should contact Home Affairs dept.
    Thanks, didn't know Home Affairs department deals with those. Will escalate with them too.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    Get a survey done.

    The surveyor will confirm where the water ingress comes from. Take the IO to court.

    https://www.hkis.org.hk/archive/mate...er_seepage.pdf


  9. #9

    Join Date
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    Scroll to the bottom and have a look at the court cases between owners and IO

    https://en.silverconeng.com.hk/page.php?id=49


  10. #10

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    There's a joint office that handles water seepage

    https://www.waterseepage.gov.hk/en/i...on_report.html


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