Guide For Landlords For Housing Disrepair Matters - Housing Disrepair Claim
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The Ultimate Guide For Landlords For Housing Disrepair Matters

Posted on: Wed Apr 13 | 6:55 AM by: housing

Housing Disrepair Claims UK

There are different reasons why a tenant may want to make a housing disrepair claim against his landlord. Some of these issues may be

 

  • Mould and Damp
  • Structural Cracks
  • Leaks
  • Water and Space heating issues
  • Drainage and flooding issues
  • Rodent and vermin infestation, among others.

It is therefore important that the landlord ensures that the property rented out to a tenant is in good state of repair and when the tenant makes a complaint, he should do well to attend to the tenants needs and carry out the needed repairs.

According to Public Law Today, a research conducted by the BBC in 2017 showed that there has been a 44% increase in the number of housing disrepair claims brought by tenants in England in the last 5 years.  It must be noted that although there are rising cases of housing disrepair in the UK, some of the claims made by tenants are fraudulent as some tenants take advantage of the law in a bid to get an undeserved compensation.

A scenario here could be that if a tenant is qualified for legal aid, they will have their costs covered and you will also pay if you lose; and if you win, you will not be able to recover your costs. This is why it is important that you know how to handle housing disrepair matters as a landlord and also hire a professional disrepair surveyor for inspection of the property.

Housing Disrepair Matters

Housing Disrepair Case Law

  • As a landlord, you need to know what the law says about housing disrepair. This ensures that you keep up with your own end of the bargain. For instance, the law states that everyone is entitled to live in a house in good state of repair. Therefore, you should be able to take care of issues such as dampness, condensation, mould, leaks, structural cracks, drainage issues and other disrepair issues which may put the safety and health of the tenant at risk. Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 requires that the basic structure and exterior of the residential property are kept under repair.
  • It is also important that you act in accordance with section 4 of the Defective Premises Act 1972 which requires that landlords take responsibility for any faults in the property which results in damage to the tenant’s belongings or personal injury.
  • Furthermore, proper documentation of your property inspection, maintenance and repairs is key to avoid you falling a victim of fraudulent housing disrepair claims. Such documents are usually requested in the law court.
  • Again, you are expected to comply with the clauses of the tenancy agreement. 
  • Additionally, it is expected that you follow the obligations of the Deregulation Act 2015, where it is expected that you provide Gas Safety and Certificates and Energy Saving Certificates. 
  • Also ensure that in line with the New Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2019, that the property is suitable for use.

MAKE A CLAIM

Getting A Professional Disrepair Surveyor

There are many benefits that come with hiring a property surveyor and some of them are as follows;

  • As experts, they are neutral and handle the inspection without bias. Thus, they will be able to present a proper and fair inspection report. Based on their careful observation and critical analysis, they are able to present a professional report containing not just the technical side but also the visual side such as diagrams, sketches and photos to highlight what the problem is making it easier to solve.
  • Professional disrepair surveyors will explain the inspection report in layman terms to both the landlord and tenant even if the inspection report in itself contains some professional jargon.
  • The technical knowledge of these surveyors will also help the landlord and tenant to have an in-depth understanding of the disrepair issue. This will ensure that the right approach is taken to repair them. For instance, the physics behind condensation and dampness which then results in the growth of mould may not be fully understood by the landlord or tenants. However, with a surveyor, the issue is taken care of.
  • It is also important to note that having a professional property surveyor not only helps you deal with housing disrepair matters but also saves you from housing disrepair claims from tenants. The court highly values an inspection report written by a professional disrepair surveyor.

Claiming Compensation From Landlord

However, if you are a tenant, you may want to know how to claim compensation from your landlord if he has failed to do the needful by ensuring that your living apartment is safe and conducive to live in. The disrepair issues can vary from one tenant to another. For instance, you may sue your landlord for mould and claim compensation for mould and damp, you may also sue your landlord for rodent or vermin infestation and claim deserved compensation. This compensation will take care of the length of time you have lived in discomfort, financial losses as a result of the disrepair, damage to belongings as well as health issues suffered due to the disrepair.

For you to make a compensation claim for disrepair from your landlord, you need to demonstrate that;

  • Your rented property is in a state of disrepair
  • You have made complaints to your landlord but he has failed to make the needed repairs
  • You have suffered damages as a result of the disrepair. These damages may be financial, health damages or loss of property.

MAKE A CLAIM

Please Note The Following

  • First, you need to talk to your landlord about the disrepair. If he fails to do anything about it after a verbal discussion, you can make it official by writing to him. Ensure you include the relevant details and evidence of the disrepair including pictures where necessary. The landlord has 2 weeks to respond. 
  • If he fails to do so, you can write to the local authority who will inform the landlord of the notice of disrepair. He will be expected to respond to your complaints within 20 working days.
  • However, when your landlord fails in this responsibility and doesn’t carry out the needed repairs, you can contact your housing disrepair solicitors for legal help. Sometimes, the local authority may carry out the repairs and then require compensation from the landlord.
  • In making your claims, ensure to keep a proper documentation of all correspondences between you and your landlord as well as pictures which will further strengthen your case.

How Much Compensation For Housing Disrepair?

There is no fixed amount on how much you can claim for your housing disrepair. It depends on several factors such as;

  • The Severity Of The Disrepair
  • How Long The Disrepair Has Lasted
  • Financial Losses Due To The Disrepair
  • Loss Of Belongings
  • Health Issues Or Personal Injury Arising From The Disrepair
  • Inconveniences Caused By The Disrepair

In line with this, your compensation is expected to cover for whatever damages to your belongings that you may have suffered. For example, leaks, condensation, damp and mould may have ruined your books, clothes or rodent infestation may have caused you several damages. This can be claimed for. 

Also, whatever personal injury or health issues you have suffered can be claimed for. For instance, if mould and condensation has caused you to suffer respiratory tract infections, you can make claims for this. 

Additionally, you can be compensated if you have had to make some repairs on your own in a bid to contain the disrepair. Your compensation will also take care of other inconveniences you may have endured. For instance, you may have been unable to use certain facilities or live in certain areas of your home. These will all count when negotiating your compensation value. 

Best Housing Disrepair Solicitors

Our firm is dedicated to help tenants and landlords take care of their housing disrepair matters by providing professional legal counsel and representation. We have undertaken several disrepair claims by tenants and have not only secured deserving compensation amounts but also see that the needed repairs are made. 

Also, we are able to advise landlords on what to do to avoid housing disrepair claims by tenants in their own best interest.

Our consultation sessions are free of charge. Here you will speak with our solicitors who will listen and make a thorough evaluation of the case and if you have a valid claim will proceed to see that justice is served.

Interestingly, we offer a no win no fee housing disrepair policy which makes it possible for you to make your claims without having to fear any financial implications even if the case is not successful in the end. We further protect you by taking an insurance cover on your behalf. Therefore, you do not have to hesitate in making your claims.

You can reach us on our housing disrepair helpline and one of our housing disrepair experts will speak with you.

For FREE housing advice, call

Call Us 0800 999 7440

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