If you have been subject to a personal injury as a result of housing disrepair you may be asking, How can a solicitor help me?
As a tenant, it’s legally-binding that your new landlord provides a property that is fit for human habitation from the outset of letting it to you. Failure to comply with legislation could result in a housing association being liable to paying a tenant financial damages for a personal injury that has befallen them. Here we discuss how expert panels help in disrepair injuries cases.
It could be that the rented accommodation was considered fit for purpose at the point a tenant moved in, yet issues arose during the course of a tenancy which were not acted upon by a landlord. Not actioning complaints to resolve a problem registered by a tenant, constitutes a breach of tenancy agreement. This does not bode well for a landlord if the tenant then subsequently suffers a personal injury which is later proved to be caused by a property owner’s non-compliance.
In this scenario a tenant can get in touch with a housing disrepair personal injury claims management company like us, DIYPI. Once we’re in possession of the key facts we can instruct one of our panel of expert solicitors (and thereafter, building surveyors if needs be) to look into individual cases further. Compiling evidence which can then be used/presented when actively pursuing a claim for personal injuries on your behalf, this is how expert panels help in disrepair injuries cases.
What Sort of Problems Constitute Housing Disrepair in Terms of Personal Injury Claims?
Rather than simply referring to structural or interior repair, housing disrepair expands to cover a number of other less obvious areas too. Mainly anything which causes an inconvenience to a tenant (including physical and/or emotional discomfort or suffering) that a landlord doesn’t resolve serves as a potentially legitimate personal injury claim.
While primarily we’re talking about unsafe utilities (gas, electricity, water, sanitation), roof and ceiling repairs and issues with both internal and external pipes, drains and wiring, there’s also some equally problematic additional claims triggers worth bearing in mind.
These include the likes of the presence of mould, fungus and damp, leaks, flooding or water damage (leaking roof and guttering, for example), defective boiler, brickwork, plasterwork, broken heating systems and radiators and pest control (evidence of rodents).
How Expert Panels Help in Disrepair Injury Cases by Reviewing Circumstances
DIYPI are home to a resident panel of expert solicitors who we can instruct to act on your behalf should you feel that a landlord hasn’t responded to your concerns as per a tenancy agreement. The upshot of which led to you suffering either a physical injury (or onset of illness) or the experiencing of mental health issues relating to anxieties.
Our expert panel is also available to intervene at an earlier stage. When perhaps you are in the midst of communicating your worries to a landlord, but feedback isn’t forthcoming. In this instance our solicitors will undertake initial case assessments, prior to a professional surveyor being recruited to complete an in-situ report.
Their remit is to identify what repairs are required and lend their professional weight in subsequent dialogue with a non-compliant landlord. Suggesting that their property repair recommendations need actioning ASAP. This summarises just how expert panels help in disrepair injuries cases.
What Types of Personal Injuries Might Result from an Unresolved Disrepair Issue?
Personal injuries consistent with housing disrepair primarily fall into the three camps. The more obvious physical injury caused by interior or exterior structural issues which haven’t been rectified and ‘made good’ by a landlord, along with illnesses triggered by the state of the property and also the mental health implications associated with both the aforementioned.
- Physical Injuries Brought About by Disrepair Scenarios – Tackling the first example, and physical injuries might include a number of things. From crumbling and falling masonry to exposed electrical wiring to uneven floorboards. Any of which could be the root cause of an accident befalling a tenant. In terms of ill health instigated by a badly presented or maintained rental property, this could manifest in the form of breathing or lung problems due to asbestos exposure
- Illness and Mental Health Problems Triggered by Disrepair Scenarios – Elsewhere the contracting of Legionnaires’ disease via the inhaling of legionella bacteria found in contaminated closed water systems within a property which has been standing for a while. Mental health issues could arise due to the stresses created by a landlord not remedying an ongoing housing problem you want them to address
- Damage to Personal Belongings Caused by Disrepair Scenarios – Meanwhile, other losses considered as grounds to pursue a personal injury claim for housing disrepair can include damages to personal belongings located within a rented property. For example, carpets, furniture or clothing which might have been on the receiving end of burst water pipes or fire damage
According to Housing Disrepair Expert Panel Members, What Must Tenants Do to Strengthen Their Claim Case?
Once you’ve reported an issue to a landlord, you have to give them time to respond. It’s also important to compile as much evidence as you can to substantiate your case. Copies of letters which confirm you’ve reported the problem to a landlord, including photographs of the state of damage or disrepair will significantly help your cause.
Gathering medical reports which clinically validate any health impacts from a GP will be strongly advised by any housing disrepair expert panel member, together with any communications received from a council environmental health department to add further kudos. In the event that a tenant’s personal property was damaged as a direct consequence of faults registered with a landlord regarding rented accommodation, then presenting receipts for replacement items would be beneficial.
Finally, if a tenant has not been able to use their home normally based on a landlord’s failure to undertake repairs – or serious disruptions has ensued during later remedial work being carried out – then it might also be possible to pursue a claim.