City building outlines

Escape of Water Claims

dripping tap

One of the most common issues we come across while managing developments, and in particular, blocks of apartments, is issues arising from an “Escape of Water”. Escape of water issues account for almost 1 in 5 insurance claims made in communal buildings, and these usually result from a leak in a pipe or appliance that uses water, and has the potential to cause significant damage if left unresolved. Apartments in particular are prone to damage from such incidents, as leaks arising from one apartment have the potential to leak into other apartments, and this can result in serious consequences.

It is important that you know what to look out for when an Escape of Water incident occurs, as the water can cause damage to walls, ceilings, floors, electrics, belongings, and cause damp issues (some of which may be hidden) that can be a major risk to your health. Even worse, repairs in some instances can take months to complete and time to dry out sufficiently, so it’s important to identify the issue early and report it to your Managing Agent as soon as possible.

Our recommendations would be to:

  • Ensure that pipes or drains do not become blocked, and ensure non-flushable items are disposed of correctly
  • Check for signs of damp near radiators and pipes and report any cracking/corrosion to your plumber, or your Managing Agent if located within a communal area.
  • Check bathrooms & wet rooms are in a good condition with no cracking or worn seals, and check grouting is intact.
  • Routinely check any fixed appliances you may have, such as washing machines, fridges, dishwashers, and water heater/boilers to ensure there are no faults/leaks and ensure that these are serviced regularly where required.
  • Ensure all household taps (including those outside if applicable!) are not dripping or leaking
  • Ensure you know where your emergency stopcock is, that it is working and accessible.
  • Check you know where the risers are in your building (they carry the communal services through the building). Look out for any damp patches or unpleasant smells (as this could be an issue with the communal soil stack).
  • Consider a smart water detector as these can sense small changes in your water usage and provide an early warning to a possible leak
  • Always have the contact details for an emergency plumber handy and report any communal issues to your Managing Agent ASAP.

As a professional Managing Agent, Realty perform regular visits and risk assessments within each of the buildings we manage and compile a leak-risk inventory which includes all items that may be present within the communal areas that could result in a leak. All leaseholders have a duty to report Escape of Water matters to their dedicated Property Manager in the first instance, to prevent further costly damage to the service charge. Realty have emergency response plans in place at each of the buildings we manage, and these are visible within the communal areas (usually on the communal notice board).

Realty Management Limited have an excellent reputation for providing management solutions to blocks of apartments that have suffered from historic escape of water issues, and we would be delighted to assist blocks that require our services with a quotation on 0161 474 7677 or email