If you’re renting accommodation, the Tenancy Act 1987 requires your landlord must ensure that your new home is fit to be lived in, from the day they let it to you and throughout your letting period. This includes if you are a tenant living in a council house or a residential property belonging to a housing association.
Start your Housing Disrepair claim now
For a FREE no obligation assessment and check if you have a claim – You may be entitled to claim up to 10,000 in compensation and repairs fixed.
You can claim compensation if you’ve suffered inconvenience or have not been able to use your home in the normal way as a result of the landlord’s duty of care failure to repair your home or experienced significant disruption during repair work.
Our dedicated panel of expert solicitors collect the facts about each individual disrepair complaint and consider if your landlord is in breach of their tenancy agreement. The solicitors will then carry out an initial assessment of your case and then instruct a professional surveyor to complete a report.
This report will seek to identify any repairs that need fulfilling, and request that the landlord acts upon these recommendations and subsequently carries out said property repairs within an agreed time frame.
We will consider an injury – or episode of ill-health – suffered as a result of the disrepair, along with any other losses such as damage to clothes, carpets, furniture etc.
Before starting legal action, you must make sure you have reported the repairs and given your landlord time to complete them.
You must also gather all the evidence needed to lend documented support to your claim for the claims process. Your evidence could include copies of letters that show you have reported the problem to your landlord, together with any photographs which show examples of the disrepair or damaged property.
Government Indicators of Housing Disrepair include:
- Damp & Mould Issues
- Excess Cold
- Excess Heat
- Gas Leak
- Inadequate Space
- Risk of Intruders
- Lack of Light
- Poor Hygiene Standards
- Prone to Accidents
- Electrical Hazards
- Fire Hazard
- Structural Issues
There are many causes of damp and mould, and these are often associated with the structure of your home. This often requires far more work than the easy and frequently suggested fix of cleaning and redecorating over the problem.
If not tackled, damp and mould can cause respiratory problems and infections as well as affect the immune system of vulnerable people, particularly young children.
A cold home is one that cannot be economically maintained at the between the temperatures 18°C to 21°C. This puts tenants at risk of flu and pneumonia; heart attacks or strokes, hypothermia and in some cases can be fatal.
Likewise, a house that is too hot has health implications, with the potential to cause dehydration, stroke and heart attacks, as well as breathing difficulties. The elderly are most vulnerable to excess heat in the home.
Asbestos was a commonly used building material in the 1950s and 1960s. Although the materials are generally safe when in good condition, if they are damaged, they release fibres into the air that can cause lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Pesticides and other chemicals have been used to treat timber mould growth and pests but can also have negative implications on respiratory health.
Carbon Monoxide can be highly toxic and cause nausea, bronchitis, and asphyxiation.
Lead from paint or pipes can potentially cause nervous disorders as well as behavioral problems in children.
Gas leaks from cookers or heaters can cause suffocation and explosion. Ensure that all appliances are properly installed and maintained and that your landlord has an annual gas safety check carried out.
Crowding leads to a risk of infections, accidents and the spread of contagious diseases. Tenants are entitled to adequate space in living rooms, kitchens and other recreational space.
If the property is not adequately secured against intruders, this can cause high levels of stress. This includes broken locks to windows and doors.
Insufficient lighting can cause depression and vitamin D deficiency.
Noise caused by poor sound insulation allows penetration of excessive levels of noise causing sleep disturbance. Further problems that arise from this are poor concentration, headaches and anxiety.
Poor Hygiene, waste and pests can lead to infection and diseases. As a tenant your property should be free from cracks and holes which would allow the entry of pests.
You should also be entitled to the provision of an adequate water supply including drinking water from the main supply.
Falling is a common hazard and is often associated with baths, showers, trip hazards, low windows, and stairs. These hazards may cause physical injuries including fractures or brain and head injuries.
Faulty wiring and old sockets are a high risk and can cause electric shocks and, in some cases, be fatal. Installation of electrics should be safe and in a good state of repair.
Cookers and heaters should be situated away from flammable materials in a safe position. This will reduce the risks caused by flames and hot surfaces.
A poorly maintained property can lead to explosions, entrapment, and structural collapse. There is a serious risk of physical injury if such an event were to take place. Identify whether your roof and identify if there are any lose tiles or leaking or damaged guttering.
Any receipts proving you had to replace things that had been damaged or destroyed by the problem, will also strengthen your case. Likewise, any medical reports explaining how your health has been affected and any report from your council’s environmental health department will substantiate your claim for housing disrepair compensation.
How much compensation can I get?
Compensation depends on the level of disrepair, the rent you pay and the impact that the repair problems had on you and your family’s health, both mental and physical.
How long can my landlord avoid carrying out a repair?
This depends on the severity of the repair. If the repair is ‘urgent’ this could class as having no heating and water, then the landlord must make the appropriate action immediately.
However, you are required to give your landlord 21 days notice before making a housing disrepair claim. If you have questions regarding any repair timescales you can give us a call for free advice today.
Can a landlord evict me for making a claim?
We can help with claims for tenants of council houses and housing associations. Your landlord cannot evict you for making a claim. You are protected under section 11 of the Housing Act.