Court battle over water damage to block of Westminster flats after two penthouse floors were added

The owners of a block of flats in Westminster are facing a £200,000 legal battle over defects in the building.

Management company 15 Rutland Gate RTM Co, and two private flat owners are suing Victory Construction for damages.

The case centres around 15 Rutland Gate, London SW7, a brick and concrete five storey block of flats put up in 1970, with two penthouse floors added in 1996.

Scandia Hus added the penthouse for Victory, using prefabricated timber construction with all external areas covered in a Sarnafil single ply thermoplastic membrane, according to a High Court writ.

Consulting engineers Structural Solutions provided technical advice and inspected the work during construction.

The management company and flat owners argue that there were defects in the design and construction of the work to the roof and penthouse in 1996, including inadequate falls on the roof, inadequate channels and outlet pipes for water, an inadequate drainage system easily blocked by debris.

They say the Sarnafil was inadequately sealed in the points, with 33 open or defective seam joints, while air conditioning cables, vent pipes, and other pipes go through the walls of the Marchesa’s flat without any protection for the integrity of the waterproofing.

Water has been getting into some of the flats, and the management company is about to carry out remedial work costing around £200,000.

The management company is seeking an injunction requiring Victory to comply with covenants in the leases, for an order making Victory pursue any claim it may have against its architect, contractor, or others, and for rectification of the defects. The company is also seeking damages for breach of covenant.