Can I sue the developer for water leakage?

Question from Robert Garland updated on 14th February 2008:

I am a landlord who bought an apartment in a high quality development for letting out to professional tenants. The apartment has suffered rainwater ingress and the tenant was exempted his rent under the terms of his contract. The developer has tried but failed to identify and repair the leak for over 6 months. Is the developer legally required to pay me for the lost rent?

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

I recommend that you seek independent legal advice regarding recourse against the developer, as the relationship between a landlord and a developer is not covered by the Residential Tenancies Act 1986. Your local Community Law Centre or Citizens Advice Bureau can provide you with free legal advice, or can direct you to the most appropriate source of information. You may also be able to make a claim with Weathertight Services in relation to the leaks. Refer to or call 0800 324 477 for further information on making a claim.

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

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