OMG Help

I received a call from the managing agents of the house next to me. The tenants on the ground floor sent them a Mise en Demeure as they have a dêgat des eaux which they believe stems from my courtyard that abuts their bedroom.

I was astonished to hear this; a Mise en Demeure happens far down the line when a claimant has not got a result.

First problem is that I have not been and an am not currently insured as I have been in court with my former insurers for a year. But nonetheless I would pay for any damages caused to a neighbouring property. What’s more I my ex insurers are due to finally send me the papers to say that I am not insured by them so I can sign up with my new insurance company in.

Anyhoo I immediately went to see my neighbours to check out this problem.

“We reported it to the agency in January 2014” said my neighbour “ and they did absolutely nothing at all. It started off as a tiny patch but over the past nine months it has grown into a huge wet, mouldy mess. My asthma has got so bad that we are moving out’


If I had known about this in January I would have got my builders in, repaired the tiny patch and silicone up the side of the courtyard that joins the neighbour’s property (for info I am a translator/relocation consultant and my job includes overseeing renovation projects so I know and work with all local building companies etc.)

So here is the deal

The managing agents want me to organize the repair of a huge section of wall 9 months after the claimant declared it and during which time I had no idea there was a problem.

The tenants no longer want to deal with the agency but the owner directly. I know and get on fine with the owner.

And here’s where it gets Cloche Merle.

The managing agent’s employee who looks after the neighbour’s tenancy is the sister of the property owner. Both sister and brother are part of my social life. She has a problem with alcohol and I have often had to carry her home at aperitif time (she can down a bottle of rosé in under half an hour)

The owner (brother) is unaware of this problem)

The agency in question has also had my house on the market for over a year…

To sum up

A flat adjoining my property has a problem. The managing agent told me this on the 18th September 2014. The tenant says he declared it in January 2014.

The agents have been marketing my property knowing that there is a problem but have never told me. For info they have not organised any visits (all prospects have been found by me).

The tenant says there is a trace of emails and letters. I have had no communication whatsoever until today

What do you think?

I am furious and feel the need to honour apéro o’clock. And mull things over

Merci d'avance for any advice!

I think you are right get it sorted so it doesnt get worse, then got their insurers and ask why they hadnt told you!Good luck!!

Hi Howard

Done! We had breakfast together and I have now got copies off all documents including the photo taken the day they reported the problem to the agent; a teeny weeny dot!

And yes, I will be taking my house off the market with this agency and putting it with others

Re: The tenant says there is a trace of emails and letters.

You should try to get hold of this "trace", which would help your claim for excess costs.

Re: The agents have been marketing my property knowing that there is a problem but have never told me. For info they have not organised any visits (all prospects have been found by me).

Obviously you don't need them as selling agent.

Thanks for the advice ladies!

Fortunately I reacted straight away - thank God my job involves sorting out similar things so yesterday I started working 'for myself' for a change :-)

My builders are coming this afternoon and this morning I sat down with the neighbours and they gave me copies of all emails, letters and photos PLUS a very insulting Facebook message from the managing agent

I also spoke with the builder who renovated the neighbouring property and he too is furious as the agent said she couldn't be arsed to get in touch with me and he should do it himself. His company works for client of mine and my cat charity looks after ferals on his land so I know him quite well

The tenants did not come buy as the agent assured them that she would tell me and indeed they were astonished that I did not know; we have a really good relationship, they know that I act quickly when there is a problem and were surprised by my silence over the past year

And for info this leak was not declared in January but October 2013! The chaser letters began in January

Methinks there is an agent who needs to be fired

Merci encore

I can't answer for the legal aspect but Suzanne's answer is good ... you're responsible for sorting this out, regardless. Whilst it would have been better to have repaired a small leak ten months ago it's now a big section of wall and it won't get smaller. So get the builders in and repair it. Get some statement from them, as well, perhaps saying that it started as a small patch and, if it had been repaired ten months ago, the building works would have cost substantially less (perhaps a figure they can give). You're now in a position to say that the lack of reporting the problem has cost you xxxxx euros and argue the toss. BUT, the problem is resolved and won't get worse.

The to-ing and fro-ing with the insurance, sorry cannot advise.

And why the heck didn't the tenants drop round and see you and knock on the door in January ...?

it sounds like you are already having a difficlt time with your ex-insurer. If I was you I would get your builders in and fix the problem asap. The last thing you want is a legal suit on your hands when you are not insured...

the rest of it is annoying and a wind up I agree, but it doesn't change where you are now, so unless you want a lot more hassle I'd just go ahead and fix it. Fancy not telling you annoying!