I live in a ground-floor flat and over the past few years have suffered from water damage caused by the flat upstairs. The owner refuses to pay for my redecorating and tells me to claim on my insurance. She is the landlord and rents the flat out through an agent. Can I force the owner to pay for the damage? Can I sue for negligence?

I bought a Victorian house in 2019. Eighteen months later I noticed a damp patch on the interior wall. The seller said that he was unaware of the damp and didn’t feel that it was his responsibility. I asked him to consider paying half the cost of repair. He declined. Is he obliged to?

Ed Cracknell answers these and more readers' questions in Home Help section of The Times. 

Water is leaking from the flat upstairs. Can I sue for damages? is available to read on The Times' website via subscription.

Ed is a partner in the property and housing litigation team.

He specialises in all aspects of property litigation and property dispute resolution. His areas of expertise include landlord and tenant disputes, business lease renewals, rent and service charge recovery, possession proceedings, and dilapidations claims.