Everyone has the legal right to live in a well maintained and secure property. In most tenancy agreements, the landlord is required to ensure that the property doesn’t fall into disrepair. If your rented home is in disrepair and poses a health hazard to you, your landlord is required to fix it as soon as you report it.
If they fail to correct that hazard after a reasonable period of time, you have the right to file for housing disrepair claims. Whether you are a housing association tenant, your housing association also has the obligation to fix disrepairs on your property as soon as you report it.
What is housing disrepair?
Housing disrepair can be defined as a rented property/accommodation that needs repairs for it to be suitable for habitation. Housing disrepair ranges from mould problems, broken heater, plumbing issues, gutter issues, structural cracks to leaks, broken doors or locks, electricity problems, vermin or insect infestation.
Many problems classified as disrepair may seem like minor inconveniences but if left unattended, might lead to much bigger inconvenience. Take for example, a small crack in your roof. If a crack in your roof is not fixed on time, rainwater can get into your house through the crack which will result in damp, which consequently causes mould. Mould in turn can ruin your furniture and clothes; in worse case scenarios make existing respiratory illness like asthma or any form of allergies worse.
It is important to note that housing disrepair is not restricted to the interior of a house. It also covers the exterior and any other inconveniences you or other occupants of your home might have suffered as a result of disrepair. Here at Housing Disrepair Claim, our team of expert housing disrepair solicitors are on hand to lend you the support you need to pursue a claim.
What are housing disrepair claims?
A housing disrepair claim is a lawsuit that involves a tenant taking a legal action against their landlord for refusing/failing to fix damage to the property.
If you encounter disrepair in your home and you report it to your landlord – under the terms of your tenancy contract – he has the obligation to fix it within a reasonable period of time. Your landlord’s obligation to you as a tenant is written under several pieces of legislation. According to section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act (LTA) 1985, a landlord is required by the law to:
- keep in repair the structure – both interior and exterior of the dwelling, including drains, gutters and external pipes,
- keep in repair and proper working order the insertion in the residence for the supply of water, gas, electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity.
- keep in repair and proper working order the installation in the dwelling for space heating and heating water.
It is important to note that this section of the Landlord and Tenant Act is applicable to you even if you do not have a Tenancy agreement.
If your landlord refuses to fix the damaged property, you have the right to file for housing disrepair claims and with the assistance of the best housing disrepair solicitors, you can be compensated for every discomfort suffered. Landlords are generally expected to respond to disrepair complaints usually within 20 days. But if your landlord ignores the complaints after that, you can file for housing disrepair claims.
How to claim compensation from your landlord.
When making a housing disrepair claim, you are entitled to compensation for :
- General inconvenience :
This refers to expenses incurred as a result of housing disrepair. Usually, such disrepairs hamper your ability to use your home fully. An example is if your door frame has been infested by termites that have eaten through the woods of your door, or a leaking roof that has caused your room to become damp. You may need to pay for an alternative accommodation because your rented home became exposed and unsafe for you to live in. These could count as general inconvenience and you may be eligible for compensation for the money spent. In addition, if the presence of mould and damp or perhaps unsanitary drains could not let you use your bathroom, you can file a claim for how these difficulties affected your ability to use the house.
- Damage to personal property :
If there was a pipe leak and the water leaked to your electrical appliances and damaged them, you can claim compensation on costs incurred in repairing or replacing those appliances.
- Personal injury :
If you or any of your loved ones have suffered an injury or ill health as a result of the disrepair on your home, you can lay a claim for compensation on the grounds of injury suffered. For example, moldy walls can cause allergies or aggravate existing conditions such as asthma and other respiratory illnesses. For personal injury you can make a claim for :
- Medical costs
- Pain and suffering
Before you can successfully make a claim for compensation from your landlord, you have to make sure you have :
- Informed the landlord about the damage on the property.
- Given the landlord reasonable time to carry out repairs on the property.
You are required to notify your landlord either through texts or email or in person. You can also write a letter to him and all this just be 21 days before filing a housing disrepair claim. It is highly recommended that you send the notice through email or texts as this will be handy as proof of the time and date you made the complaint. Doing these would at least ensure the landlord was given a chance to fix the disrepair on the property.
Furthermore, it is also important that you keep a record of reports of disrepair made. If you made them through text or emails, you should have that kept somewhere. Date and time is also very important as these can serve as evidence for your claim should you decide to pursue it.
More so, if you or your loved ones have suffered an injury as a result of the disrepair, you should also keep important documents such as medical reports, receipts, and pictures as evidence to be submitted to the solicitor. If you have undertaken repairs and you have receipts that show that you have, you can also get compensation for the money spent to fix the disrepair. Feel free to contact us or alternatively fill our free claim assessment form and our housing disrepair claims solicitors will reach out to you. Note that you will be required to provide necessary evidence to support your claim. The more evidence you provide, the better your chances at getting a good verdict.
How long does housing disrepair claims take?
When tenants make housing disrepair claims, usually landlords tend to quickly fix all the necessary damages and get them working as soon as possible. However, if you/loved ones have suffered personal injury, the case may take as long as 9-12 months and this is usually dependent on the landlord and resources available to them.
If you are a housing association tenant, contact your housing association and follow their formal complaints procedure. Once you have completed the complaints procedure, you will then be required to wait for 8 weeks. During this waiting period, your housing association will be expected to resolve the complaints for you. If it does not and you decide to bring a claim for your housing association disrepair, the following documents would help to support your claim :
- Copies of all correspondence between yourself and the housing association talking about the disrepair.
- Photo and video evidence of the problem.
- Medical records (for personal injury sustained. )
- Record of phone calls regarding the problem.
- Receipts for any expenses incurred as a result of the disrepair.
How we can help.
We understand that when your home is at best inconvenient for living, it can turn to a nuisance and so we want to help you. If all you want is to get your repairs done or claim compensation for extra costs or personal injury or general inconveniences, our housing disrepair solicitors offer you a No Win No Fee housing disrepair claim.
Essentially, what this means is that you only pay us a certain percentage of your total compensation when your claim succeeds. On the other hand, if the claim is unsuccessful, you will not be charged any fee by our No Win No Fee housing disrepair solicitors. We will investigate and ensure that your landlord complies with his/her responsibilities and pays for the repairs to be done and also pay compensation to you if required.
Contact us today.
If you seek to make housing disrepair claims in Manchester, please reach out to us today. We understand that making a claim against your landlord might not be entirely pleasing at first but we are here to make sure the process goes seamlessly and stays straightforward and as stress-free as possible for you.
You can take advantage of our housing disrepair solicitors No Win No Fee policy and contact us online or on our housing disrepair helpline. One of our expert housing solicitors will be in touch with you to guide you through the entire process and provide you with assistance every step of the way.