What should I do about the water leakage issue?
According to past doctrines in Hong Kong, for instance, Lee Kin Shing v Yiu Ming Chung  HKEC 599, if someone spots the emergency of water leakage, he/she has an obligation to identify the source of the leakage and prove that it comes from the suspected unit; the owner of the alleged unit is not obliged to prove the source of leak does not come from him/her. After the plaintiff’s valid proof, he/she may claim compensation or apply for an injunction on the ground of nuisance. However, from Cheung Sau Ling v Cheng Lai Chong (CACV 268/1998), proving the emanation of the leakage is not sufficient to make a claim. The defendant is liable only if he failed to mitigate the problem after his knowledge of the issue. Another case Tin Kin Ka Clara v Chan Koon Cheong  HKEC 779, has further demonstrated the ruling in Cheung Sau Ling case, holding that the plaintiff must show, besides the leakage itself and the issue of causation, that the defendant actually knew the leakage came from his premise and mitigation was not done within a reasonable period of time. To conclude, if water leakage is discovered in your property, you should first seek help from the property management office or related professionals to examine the leakage situation, as well as to identify the source of the leakage. After that, you should notify the unit owner and ask for remedial actions to be taken as soon as possible. If that owner takes no action, you may consider making a claim against him/her on the ground of nuisance.
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