Water from the ceiling, again

Imagine the scene. I wake up. It is still dark. I haven’t put in my “dolbies” (hearing aids) yet but I can hear a repeated tap-tapping sound from the hallway. It sounds like dripping water but of course, it can’t be that.

Can it?

I get up, put in my trousers, slippers and a top. Then I pick up my mobile. Not wishing to disturb Tigger’s sleep I don’t turn on the light but use the “torch” facility in my phone.

The hallway floor is dry. So is that in the tiny bathroom. Phew! No dripping water, then. Relief.

Then the light picks up a shininess on the floor of the living room. Relief evaporates… The dripping sound is of water coming from the ceiling: our upstairs neighbour is flooding us again. Yes, AGAIN.

I wake Tigger and tell her the news. Then I go upstairs and hammer on my neighbour’s door. No response. After trying a few more times, I give up and rejoin Tigger.

It occurs to us that if we are being flooded then so is our neighbour downstairs. Accordingly, I go down and hammer on his door. Several times. No response.

My next action is to call Partners’ Out of Hours Service [1]. Not that I expect them to be able to help but anything is worth trying..

I listen impatiently to a long, long pre-recorded message about Covid rules and regulations and protections. Finally, an actual human responds. I tell the story but receive the only too expected response: “If your neighbour is not responding, we cannot gain access; and if we cannot gain access we cannot do anything.”

I write a note and attach it to my neighbour’s door with sticky tape. “Water is dripping from our ceiling. Is it coming from your flat”.

Meanwhile, Tigger has pulled out the step-ladder from behind the bedroom door and is constructing a jury-rigged system with parcel tape and cut-up plastic bags stuck to the ceiling in order to channel at least some of the water into a bin.

Now my downstairs neighbour taps on my door to enquire whether we have water coming into our flat. He didn’t hear me knocking but, like me, woke up to find water dripping from the ceiling. While I am tiredly resigned to the situation (this is our 8th flooding from the same source), he is very angry. Ironically, today he has an appointment for repairs necessitated by the previous flooding.

I explain that Partners cannot help and say that I will call the Council when their office open. They may have a contact phone number for Mr Upstairs.

My neighbour says that he has a mobile number for Mr Upstairs but, as he is in dispute with him, is not allowed to contact him. I ask for the number as this will save me making a probably fruitless call to the Council.

I call the number. Mr Upstairs answers. I say that water is coming into our flat from above and ask if he is at home. He tells me that he is an hour away but will come back. I am careful not to accuse him of the flooding in case, by some remote chance, he is not to blame.

All we can do now is sit and wait, keeping an eye on the bin to see that it doesn’t overflow. Assuming that our neighbour does return and stem the flow, we will have to wait for the remaining water to work its way down and then clean up the mess.

We know, however, that even when some semblance of order has been restored, this is only temporary until our neighbour floods us again… and again. Neither remonstrances nor appeals to the Council have so far produced any useful result.


Mr Upstairs returned home and then called me by phone. He gave me an explanation for the flooding but this doesn’t make sense to me. He said that the taps in his kitchen sink are corroded and they drip. While he was away, he said, the dripping taps had filled the sink which then overflowed. He will call the Council to repair the taps.

I don’t know about you but I am not convinced by that story. I cannot imagine any reasonable scenario in which it could be true.

I let our downstairs neighbour know the substance of the phone call and he too is sceptical of the veracity of the story. He has already contacted the Council about our problem neighbour and will do so again. Can we ever expect a resolution of this problem?


[1] Partners is an independent company that manages and maintains the Council’s properties.

About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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2 Responses to Water from the ceiling, again

  1. David Edward Ansell says:

    How the hell do dripping taps fill the sink unless he’s left the plug in?


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