Leak led to fleas in flat, court told

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 13 April, 2007, 12:00am

A family whose home was damaged by a water leak from the flat above - and then was invaded by insects - yesterday sought a court injunction ordering the owner of the flat upstairs not to let it happen again.

Lo Yee-ha, who lives in Westlands Garden, Quarry Bay, with her husband and two children, told the District Court she had to endure an insect infestation and mould on her ceiling for almost two years beginning in December 2003.

Ms Lo said water seepage caused mould on the ceiling, which in turn resulted in an infestation of psocids - a type of book lice that breeds and thrives on mould and moss. Her nine-year-old daughter suffered frequent insect bites.

She said the water leak started on the bathroom and kitchen ceiling and spread to the guestroom.

'It was dripping on the floor. We needed to place rubbish bins to collect the water, which was stinky, too.'

The court heard that the leak was discovered two months after the family moved in, and that Mrs Lo asked her neighbours upstairs, Ho Shu-wah and Weddy Chan Yin-fan, to deal with the matter.

'We invited the couple to our house to inspect the leak in April 2004. I asked them to check and fix their drainage system. I did not even ask for compensation,' she said.

Ms Lo said she contacted the building management to arrange a meeting but later was told her neighbours had not responded.

She then filed an injunction application to the court in 2005. The leak stopped in August.

Architect Chu Tak-sum, hired by the plaintiffs, said the water was from the upstairs flat. 'The toilet had been renovated, but cement was used to cover the floor and water might have seeped through,' he said.

The hearing continues.