Has penetrating damp caused you to suffer harm and/or financial losses in your rented property? Typically, it is a landlord’s responsibility to address mould and damp caused by housing disrepair; if they fail in this regard, the tenant may be entitled to a claim for disrepair.
What is Penetrating Damp?
Damp is an accumulation of moisture caused by the air, damage such as a leaky pipe or roof, or other disrepair. Penetrating damp refers to damp that comes through the wall from outside, into the property. Primary causes of penetrating damp include damaged roof, inadequate guttering, brickwork cracks, and damaged windows. Flat roofs could also allow for penetrating damp if they do not drain properly.
How Do I Identify Damp and How Can it Affect My Home?
Usually, a patch of damp on the wall or ceiling is one of the first signs of penetrating damp in a property. Penetrating damp may come with a musty smell and, if the damp is in a hidden area, the presence of mould may be the first sign which may quickly spread throughout the property. Damp may also affect outside a property, particularly in areas with missing roof tiles, although it is usually first spotted internally.
In mild cases, damp may damage the plaster on the wall, wall coverings, and the base rendering, requiring repair. Damp can also cause wood to rot quickly; the presence of damp in a warm home is a bad combination that can lead to the rapid decay of even the hardest wood. If left for a prolonged period, damp can even lead to the rotting of cement. This means that damp can eventually compromise the structural integrity of your rented property, making it unsafe to live in.
Damp also causes a number of health problems, particularly to infants, babies and the elderly or those with pre-existing respiratory ailment. It may also worsen the symptoms of those with asthma, with potential to make their condition life-threatening.
Is Damp My Landlord’s Responsibility?
Basically, it is the duty of your landlord to ensure the repair and maintenance of the structure of the property. However, whether the presence of damp in a rented property is the landlord’s responsibility is not a straightforward matter. For instance, penetrating damp may be a result of the landlord’s failure to ensure the structural maintenance of their rented property, but it could also occur as a result of condensation caused by the tenant’s lifestyle.
If there is any doubt as regards who is at fault, an inspection may be required. If you are unsure about whose responsibility a type of damp is, or if you would like to make housing disrepair claims due to the presence of damp, our panel of specialist housing disrepair solicitors can help. We work with a panel of experienced solicitors who have handled different types of disrepair claims by tenants, and will let you know whether your landlord could be responsible for the damp in your home.
Can I Sue My Landlord for Damp?
You may be able to make a compensation claim against your landlord for housing disrepair and inconvenience if damp has damaged your property and put your health at risk. According to Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, your landlord must repair the outside and structure of the property.
This would include damp as it can eventually affect the structural integrity of the property if left untreated. In fact, the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) lists damp as one of the most important of mandatory repairs that landlords must perform in their property – in a prompt and effective manner – due to the health risks that damp can cause.
If you believe your landlord has failed to uphold his legal obligations to repair and maintain the rented property, then our panel of solicitors can help you sue landlord for mold UK and the damp affecting your home.
What Can I Claim if I Have Suffered as a Result of Penetrating Damp?
A penetrating damp claim is usually filed as a housing disrepair claim, but if the presence of mould and damp has put your health at risk, you may also be able to make a personal injury claim in addition. The housing disrepair claim may include property damage, as well as any breach of the tenancy agreement.
Damp or mould may affect things such as soft furnishings, electrical items, expensive decorations (e.g., prints and paintings), furniture, clothing, and bedding. You may be entitled to a claim for compensation if your property has been damaged by damp or mould.
Personal injury claims are broadly divided into two parts: general damages and special damages. General damages refer to compensation for the pain and suffering, emotional distress, psychological injuries and any disabilities you have suffered as a result of mould or damp.
Special damages refer to out of pocket expenses you have incurred as a result of the damage, and may include loss of earnings, medical bills, travel costs, reduced future earning potential, and even loss of pension as a result of having to quit work or change jobs. If you are able to keep all relevant receipts, this will make calculating your claim much easier.
How Much Compensation Am I Entitled to for Penetrating Damp?
Whether you rented your property from a private landlord or the council, if they have acted negligently in addressing damp and mould issues in your home, you could be entitled to compensation. However, compensation amounts vary greatly as they depend on the extent of property damage, as well as the nature and severity of the illness you suffered.
When you contact us, the panel of housing disrepair solicitors we work with will thoroughly review your case to determine whether there are valid grounds for a claim. Once we have established that you can make a claim, we will give you a quick estimate of how much your housing disrepair claim could be worth.
Can I Withhold Rent Due to Damp?
Could you withhold part or all of your rent if your rented property was damaged by damp? While you are bound by law to adhere to the terms of the tenancy agreement, there are few exceptions that allow tenants to withhold rent. If you are sure the cause of the damp is due to housing disrepair, you must notify your landlord in writing and allow them reasonable time to inspect and fix the problem; if the landlord refuses to address the problem or there is significant delay, there is a rule known as ‘set off’ which allows you withhold the rent in order to fix the problem.
Under this rule, you can arrange for repairs yourself if your landlord has refused to address the structural disrepair in the property after you reported. Once the repair is done, you should send the invoice to your landlord; if your landlord still fails to respond or refuses to agree to a settlement, then you can withhold the rent. Withholding the rent means deducting the cost of the repair, and not any consequential damages. If there are any other expenses you wish to claim against your landlord, you may sue the landlord for mould or damp.
Withholding rent can be very tricky, as you may be evicted for non-payment of rent if the process is not correctly done. Do not hesitate to speak with one of our specialist housing disrepair solicitors for advice as to how to correctly withhold rent if you find yourself in this situation.
No Win No Fee Penetrating Damp Claims
Making a claim for disrepair can be challenging, especially if you are worried about funding your claim. To help you through this process, we may be able to offer to work with you on a No Win No Fee basis if we believe there are legitimate grounds for a housing disrepair claim. This means that you do not have to pay any solicitor fees if your claim is not successful. If your claim succeeds, the majority of the costs will be covered by your landlord.
At the end of a successful claim, a ‘success fee’ (0-25% of your compensation agreed on prior to the commencement of your case) will be deducted. You can rest assured our No Win No Fee housing solicitors will do everything possible to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve so you can get your life back on track. We will guide you on how to claim compensation from your landlord and help you navigate the claims process, no matter how complex it may be.
How We Can Help
Our housing disrepair solicitors No Win No Fee have a wealth of experience in handling different kinds of disrepair claims by tenants. We have heard from different claimants in many unique situations, and work hard to ensure their concerns are addressed in a quick, clear and professional manner. Whether you are looking to make housing disrepair claims Manchester or some other place in Wales and England, we will be happy to help.
If you are ready to make a claim or you are still unsure whether you have a claim, get in touch with us by filling our free claims assessment form or calling us on 0800 999 7440 for a no obligation consultation with one of our friendly solicitors.
Can I sue my landlord for damp?
Yes. If you live in a rented property – whether this is from the local council or a private landlord – and damp has damaged your property or put your health at risk, then you may be entitled to a claim for compensation.
How much compensation can I get for damp?
There is no fixed compensation amount for damp or any other type of housing disrepair claim. Your compensation award will depend on the extent of property damage and/or health problem you have suffered as a result of the presence of damp in your home.