Low Water Pressure in Flats

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Friday 16 December 2005 5.21pm
Have just moved in Market Yard Mews above the Bermondsey Kitchen and the water pressure on the 5th floor is a virtual dribble! The combi-boiler cuts out as soon as the cold mixer is turned on in the shower. Great hey! There is no pump to fix. Obviously the freeholder should have fitted a pump to the building as the water board will only guarantee 1 bar of pressure at street level which is insufficient for water to rise above the 3rd floor. All you flat dwellers in SE1 may know whether I right in assuming this is the freeholders responsibility to sort out and not the leaseholder?
Friday 16 December 2005 7.51pm
It will depend on the precise wording of your lease.

In the lease document, there will be a whole section about maintainance and care of the building - that will either be the responsibility of your freeholder, or possibly a "management company". Normally, the person that you pay service charge to has responsibility for maintaining the building. Depending on what the responsibilities of the freeholder and management company are said to be, you may be able to argue that they're not providing proper service to you if you can't get enough water pressure.

Is the building a fairly new build ? If so, you may have Buildmark NHBC insurance cover which may respond - although it's more for structural problems, it does cover certain design problems too.

Finally, check what answers were given by the sellers of your property to the questions that your solicitor may have asked as pre-completion enquiries. The usual rule is "let the buyer beware" but if they said anything in those answers about the water pressure which isn't true, you may have a claim against them.

I would a) talk to your neighbours and find out if they are having the same problems and b) write to your managing agent and explain the problems and ask what they plan to do about it.

I'd be really surprised if water was getting to the fifth floor if there was no pump fitted at all - is there any chance it's not working too well at the moment and needs maintenance ?

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 16 December 2005 8.12pm by Siduhe.
Sunday 18 December 2005 8.15pm
As mentioned in an earlier thread I too have been having problems with water pressure. I am just around the corner from you in Long Lane. I have a shower (on the 2nd floor) that will not work in the morning due to low water pressure. Contacting Thames water they stated that the water pressure has not been reduced in the area nor was there any work being carried out in the area that would effect pressure. However I do not think it is mere coinisidence that this fall in pressure corresponded with the occupancy of the many newly built flats opposite and that the increased demand for water has effectivly reduced the pressure. After about 9.30am when most people are at work the shower works fine but surprise surpise I tend to want to use it earlier
Tuesday 3 January 2006 8.58am

Found out that there definitely no pump. The freeholders agent is claiming that they fulfilled they duty to provide the means for a water supply to be delivered and that the pipe belongs to leaseholder (ie not my problem mate)! The agent says that the fact that a pump was not installed cannot now be resurrected as an issue as each flat owner should/would have known it at point of purchase of flat.

They then go on to claim that any installation of pump would be an improvement and that would need unanimous agreement of ALL the lessees because they would have to fund the cost any pump.

Seems strange to me. Having cocked up the job in the first place, all it would take is one lessee on the 1st floor to refuse to pay (my supply on the 1st floor is ok) for us to remain in this mess on the upper floors!
Tuesday 3 January 2006 9.21am
The block of flats I live in had low water pressure originally, but after about three years of complaints, the freeholder (Galliard Homes) installed a pump and paid for it themselves. It may be worth contacting the freeholder directly, as it sounds as if your managing agents aren't taking the problem seriously.
Tuesday 3 January 2006 3.47pm
Sounds like your best option is simply to get a pump (or pumps if necessary) fitted in your flat only without consulting other flat owners or free holders. The benchmark pump manufacturer is Stewart Turner. Check their www. It's usually a simple and low cost job.
Tuesday 3 January 2006 4.54pm
and then get ready for all your neighbours to complain about the noise of your pump!

...if you press it, they will come.
Tuesday 3 January 2006 6.59pm
colin Wrote:
> Sounds like your best option is simply to get a
> pump (or pumps if necessary) fitted in your flat
> only without consulting other flat owners or free
> holders. The benchmark pump manufacturer is
> Stewart Turner. Check their www. It's usually a
> simple and low cost job.

Alberto, I'd perhaps check the terms of your lease before you do that. There may well be a clause requiring you to get permission from the freeholder before carrying out works like that.

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