Housing Disrepair Claims
If you are living in a poorly maintained property and your landlord is refusing to rectify the problem, we maybe able to get the repairs plus compensation.
Your landlord has a legal obligation to ensure your home is kept in a good state of repair, particularly regarding:
- The structure and exterior of the premises;
- Gas pipes and electrical wiring;
- Ensuring the property is free from vermin infestation.
- Water pipes and instillations relating to water usage - such as baths, sinks, drainage systems and toilets;
Failure to meet this obligation can result in inconvenience, damage to your belongings, personal injury or ill health. If you have suffered as a result of housing disrepair you may be eligible to claim compensation.
Am I entitled to claim for housing repairs?
Your landlord does not have to make improvements to your home. However, they do have an obligation to keep your home safe and in a reasonable state of repair - reflecting the standard of the property at the start of your tenancy agreement.
Your tenancy agreement will specify your responsibilities as a tenant as well as the obligations of your landlord. However, whether directly specified or not, there are certain legal obligations your landlord must meet.
If you have notified your landlord of disrepair relating to any of the above and they have not acted to meet their obligations within a reasonable* period of time you have the right to make a housing disrepair claim compelling them to take action to make the necessary repairs.
*What is deemed reasonable is dependent upon the gravity of the situation; for example, any disrepair posing an immediate risk of injury must be dealt with straight away – such as a gas leak.
If you have a valid claim for housing disrepair, aside from compelling the landlord to repair your property, you may also be able to claim compensation for any suffering, loss or damage resulting from the landlord’s failure to rectify the problem. We have successfully pursued compensation for:
Inconvenience caused (for example, being unable to use certain areas of your home due to damp conditions). Unlike personal injury, only the person on the tenancy agreement can claim for inconvenience.
Damage to personal property or belongings (such as, damage to furniture resulting from a leak.) Photographs and receipts may be required to make your claim.
Personal injury or ill health resulting from the disrepair (such as, viruses, colds or chest infections resulting from damp conditions). This can be claimed for any and all of those living within the property who have suffered ill health.
Financial losses incurred (for example, loss of earnings due to ill health resulting from the disrepair).
Reduction or Rebate of Rent:
This is dependent upon your individual circumstances. If you haven't been able to use all or part of your home because of the disrepair, you may be entitled to a reduction or refund of rent. If you are in arrears with your rent any damages or compensation resulting from a disrepair claim may be offset against the money you owe.
Council House Tenants:
Council house tenants may also be able to claim compensation where the council has failed to complete repairs covered under the ‘The Right To Repair’ scheme within the allotted time scale. Under this scheme all repairs should be carried out within one, three or seven working days depending on the type of repair.
Qualifying repairs are those which cost less than £250 to complete, including electrical fittings, leaking roofs, blocked sinks, drains, toilets, lose or broken handrails, banisters and leaking pipes.