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we own a ground floor 2 bedroom flat in a terrace house in north tyneside. The upper floor of the terrace is another flat. There is only one stopcock for the 2 flats and it is situated in our flat We are considering putting the flat up for sale in Jan 2015. Our insurance states that if the flat is unoccupied the water should be turned off.The owners of the other flat made enquiries some years ago to have a seperate water supply to their premises with their own stop cock. The cost was around £1000 and they did not go ahead. The occupant of the other flat is a lone single mother with two children.

Where do i stand legally???

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Well logic dictates, if nothing changes, then the water supply will need to be kept turned on for the upper flat. It goes without saying that not having independent stop taps is far from ideal and I'm really surprised that the costs are as high as you have stated.

I guess the obvious question is.... are you or your upstairs neighbour on a meter ?

If not, it might be worth asking to have them supplied as they usually come with an isolation tap. One of my son's had a property with a shared mains stop tap. His fix was to get a water meter installed.

Alternatively commission your own plumber(s) to give some prices for comparison.

The other considerations are:

* Not having the means to independently turn off the water supply will likely affect your sale price.......it certainly would if I were buying it.

* We are now rapidly approaching winter. You will of course need to keep your heating ON during the winter months. If you have a wet system you will need to keep the water turned ON anyway.

* Some insurers have alternative rules eg if you or someone is checking the property daily/ weekly whist empty then the water may not need to be turned off.

* NOTE : If your property is empty and your heating is left on then the risk of a leak from your property is very minimal. I'd always recommend regular checks. Whenever mine are empty I usually visit at least every other day to check all is OK.

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