'Every time my neighbour flushes the toilet, the water starts dripping'

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 June, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 June, 2004, 12:00am

A litre of water leaks into Fung Ka-keung's living room in Sheung Wan from the flat upstairs in an average week.

'Every time my neighbour upstairs flushes the toilet, the water starts dripping,' Mr Fung said.

The problem began over a year ago at the height of the Sars crisis.

Mr Fung, 46, and his 70-year-old mother have lived in the 500 sq ft flat in the 20-year-old Lam's Building in Kau U Fong for more than a decade. The leak had steadily got worse, Mr Fung said.

The water seeps out of pipes leading from his neighbour's upstairs balcony. The toilet is apparently near the balcony. He has placed basins on top of cupboards to catch the dripping water, which is being absorbed into the walls, making the paint peel.

'I feel helpless, my mother is very worried. I know the building is old but my neighbour has been most unco-operative,' he said.

Mr Fung sought the help of the district office and government departments. 'When we arranged to have inspectors check the drains upstairs, the neighbour would agree but when the inspectors showed up, the neighbour would be out,' he said.

Buildings Department inspectors said the leak did not pose a structural problem, so it was not their problem. Food and Environmental Hygiene Department inspectors carried out tests but failed to prove the water came from his neighbour's toilet.

'I am still at square one after a year. Meanwhile, I have to empty the water several times a day,' Mr Fung said. 'It's no way to live, especially for my elderly mother.'