Housing Disrepair Claims
Are you suffering from ongoing disrepair issues in your rented home? Have you complained to your landlord, but they have failed to carry out repairs? You may be eligible to file a housing disrepair claim, forcing your landlord to fix the problems while compensating you for any issues that have occurred.
Unfortunately, issues in rented homes seem to be getting worse within the UK. Across 70 English councils, there have been nearly 17,000 disrepair claims in the past five years, and thousands more unreported. Many in-depth news reports from ITV and others have highlighted the problems many renters are facing up and down in the country.
Fortunately, there is help on hand for renters who are suffering from disrepair in their home, and you are afforded legal rights. By law, your landlord is required to carry out repairs to the property if the home falls below a certain reasonable living standard. Tenants should never accept unsafe, unhealthy living conditions.
If you have politely asked your landlord to carry out much-needed repairs in your home and they have refused, you may be eligible for housing disrepair compensation, and could get an order forcing them to repair the problems.
If you believe you may be eligible for housing disrepair compensation, The Tenants’ Voice are able to help. We have compiled an expert Housing Disrepair Solicitor legal panel who can assist with bringing forward a claim. You can contact our panel today to see if we can help you. The initial chat with our panel is completely free, and they all work on a No Win, No Fee basis.
What is Housing Disrepair?
When your rented home is in urgent need of repairs, it can be said it is in a state of “disrepair”. Repairs are needed in a rented home when it is no longer safe and suitable for occupation by a tenant.
When you live in rented accommodation, your landlord has certain legal responsibilities. They are required by law to ensure:
- The property is structurally safe, both internally and externally
- Water, gas and electricity installations are safe
- The property has a working heating system
Your landlord is also required by law that the property is fit for human habitation. Some issues that could be classed as disrepair in this regard include, but are not limited to:
- Severe amp and mould
- Missing/loose roof tiles
- Cracks in or “failed” glazing
- Faulty electrics
- Crumbling plasterwork
- Exposed asbestos
- Damaged or Unsafe external walls
- Sinking floors or building
Disrepair can refer to multiple issues relating to the maintenance of the rented property, and many of the above bullet points can combine to create more severe cases of disrepair.
What are Housing Disrepair Claims?
A housing disrepair claim arises when you, as a tenant, have done all you can to inform your landlord of the repair issues, given them reasonable time to carry out repairs, and they have still failed to repair the property or have ignored you completely.
The claim itself is a legal claim against the landlord in order to force them to fix the problems you have reported, and also potentially compensate you for any personal injury, damaged belongings, or pain and suffering as a result of the disrepair.
No tenant deserves to live in unsafe, cold, unhealthy living conditions. This type of disrepair claim centres around tenants taking legal action against their landlord in order to ensure this, making them fix the disrepair, and potentially paying you compensation for your suffering.
What is the Housing Disrepair Claim process?
Our Housing Disrepair Solicitor legal panel have a straightforward process. Initially, we will ask you some qualifying questions on our website to ensure you are eligible to file a claim. This form is free-to-use and takes a couple of minutes.
You will then be asked to provide some evidence of the disrepair, in the form of photos. Make sure you get photos of all of the disrepair in each room to ensure you have the best chance of success possible.
If our panel believe you are eligible, they will begin to work on your case. With the evidence you have provided, they will begin to gather further evidence and information, investigating the tenancy agreement, and also gathering letters and emails sent to the landlord and any medical reports from your doctor where applicable.
Our legal panel will then present the evidence to your landlord and negotiate your potential compensation, whilst ensuring the repairs are carried out as soon as possible.
The Tenants’ Voice expert Housing Disrepair solicitor legal panel will keep in touch with you throughout the process, and always speak to you in clear, easy-to-understand English.
How much notice does my landlord need to fix problems?
The law states that your landlord must carry out repairs “within a reasonable period of time”. This can be subjective, however, and the timescales can often depend on how serious the problem is.
You will need to notify your landlord as soon as you discover the disrepair. If the landlord has not been notified, you cannot bring a housing disrepair claim forward against them. You can notify your landlord via email, text message, letter or in person, though we would recommend always keeping evidence of each interaction if it is face to face.
Generally speaking, a reasonable timeframe to expect the disrepair to be fixed can be anywhere between 21-28 days.
How much compensation can I claim for Housing Disrepair?
Each housing disrepair claim is different in severity, so it is hard to pinpoint exactly how much you might be able to claim for your housing disrepair. Our legal panel should be able to quickly work out how much you could look to recover once you get in touch.
We can, however, detail what damages you can seek if you are successful. These include:
Damage To Property
Mould, dampness and flooding can lead to extensive damage to personal property. If you have a damaged TV, bedding, clothes, carpet or furniture, you may be able to claim the expense of replacing or repairing these items.
Personal Injury Compensation
Housing disrepair claims can cause a number of health problems if left unattended for long periods of time. These include:
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Depression and anxiety
If you or your family have suffered as a result of your landlord not fixing repairs, you can claim compensation for:
- Medical costs
- Pain and suffering caused by the disrepair
General Inconvenience and Suffering
In addition to injury and loss of personal belongings, you can claim for certain inconveniences caused by the disrepair, such as:
- Disruption to your daily life
- Not having the full use of your home
- Time spent waiting for builders or inspections
As will all of the above scenarios, the amount you can claim depends on the how the problem affected you and your family and for how long.
What evidence will I need to bring forward a claim?
In order to lodge a successful Housing Disrepair claim, you will need to provide our panel with some evidence. Evidence is vital when trying to back up your claims against your landlord. It is also not hugely difficult to find evidence that demonstrates the negligence of your landlord.
Some evidence that will massively help your cause includes:
- Written letters, emails, text messages to your landlord explaining the problems
- Photographs of the disrepair
- Photographs of your damaged belongings and/or personal injuries
- Police reports
- Medical reports
- Witness statements (sometimes from neighbours or friends)
- Diary entries
- Financial receipts
- Reports from an independent Surveyor or Environmental Health Officer
All of this evidence can go into building the housing disrepair compensation claim and can greatly help your case.
Who is eligible to bring forward a Housing Disrepair claim?
Eligibility for bringing forward a housing disrepair claim will vary from case to case. The Tenants’ Voice legal panel should be able to inform you relatively quickly as to whether you are eligible to claim.
Generally speaking, the criteria for a claim is dependent on a few things:
- Whether you rent your home privately or through the council/a social housing association. We cannot currently help those who rent privately.
- The severity of the disrepair
- The effect the disrepair has had on your health
- The length of time the disrepair has been present
- Whether you have informed your landlord of the disrepair
- The steps your landlord has taken to repair the house
Our advice would be to contact our disrepair solicitor panel today to determine whether you are eligible to claim.
Do I need to continue paying rent while my claim is ongoing?
Yes, it is vitally important you continue to pay your rent, despite your landlord not fixing the disrepair issues. If you refuse to pay your rent, this gives the landlord the opportunity to file a counterclaim against you for a breach of your tenancy agreement, and makes it much easier for them to evict you legally.
How can The Tenants’ Voice Help?
Are you having problems with your landlord? Are they refusing to fix disrepair issues in the property, leaving you with an unsafe home? Let our panel of housing disrepair solicitors help you force your landlord to fix the problems, and potentially award you compensation for any suffering caused.
Our legal panel has extensive experience in bringing successful claims against rogue landlords who fail to carry out repairs.
The Tenants’ Voice have compiled an expert panel of housing disrepair solicitors who are highly experienced in helping tenants who are suffering from the negligence of their landlord. They understand that filing a disrepair claim against your landlord is a stressful time, and may appear daunting at first. They are here to make sure the process remains as straightforward and as stress-free as possible.
Discover if you are eligible to claim housing disrepair compensation today by using our free-to-use eligibility checker.
If you have an issue that is, or could cause, a health risk and want to discuss it then do not hesitate to contact us.
This article is provided as a guide. Any information should be used for research purposes and not as the base for taking legal action. The Tenants' Voice does not provide legal advice and our content does not constitute a client-solicitor relationship.
We advise all tenants to act respectfully with their landlords and letting agents and seek a peaceful resolution to problems with their rented property. For more information, explore the articles in our Rights and responsibilities category.
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