Monday, February 4, 2013
A businesswoman’s move-in date for her dream luxury £1.45million flat has been delayed by more than two years because of the tropical temperatures caused by faulty pipes.
Andrie Lazari is suing developers for more than £150,000, claiming the soaring temperatures in her flat, overlooking Regent’s Canal, rise close to 30 degrees centigrade and its wooden floors have warped in the stifling heat.
Ms Lazari bought the flat in Oval Road for £1.45million in late 2010, but fears moving in could seriously damage her already fragile health.
Developer London & Newcastle (Camden) Ltd has “accepted liability for the defective state of affairs which led to the over-heating”.
But the firm is contesting the amount of compensation due to Ms Lazari in the High Court.
Mr Justice Akenhead told the court at a hearing on Friday (February 1) that London & Newcastle had at first disputed there was anything wrong but, after an expert report, admitted there was “a significant over-heating problem”.
The source of the heat appeared to be hot water pipes running underneath the flat.
Despite extensive remedial works, Ms Lazari, who has a medical condition and walks with crutches, says the “serious and continuing” over-heating still makes it impossible for her to move in.
Although temperatures in the flat have recently fallen below maximum recommended levels, she claims it could be due to the cold winter weather and fears the heat could return with the arrival of spring.
Ms Lazari is suing London & Newcastle for alleged breaches of contract and contravening the Defective Premises Act 1972.
Her lawyers say that apart from Ms Lazari’s distress and inconvenience at being kept out of her home, relocating the hot water pipes will cost at least £150,000 and high temperatures have left the floor so badly warped it will have to be replaced.
In October last year Ms Lazari won an injunction against the developers, requiring them to co-operate fully with her lawyers’ investigations.
After the preliminary hearing on Friday (February 1), Mr Justice Akenhead made an order that London & Newcastle must pay £30,000 to be held with the court within 14 days if it wishes to defend the compensation claim.