If you are a housing association tenant, and you believe that you have been subject to unfair treatment by your housing association in the UK, you can make a complaint or may be entitled to compensation as required by law.
A housing association is a non-profit organization that rents houses and flats to people on low incomes or with particular needs.
Every housing association owes a number of responsibilities to tenants which include:
- carrying out any repairs which it is responsible for
- decorating the outside of your property once every seven years
- giving you permission to sublet, transfer or exchange your property if it’s reasonable to do so
- allowing you to keep lodgers
- working with you to try to manage the situation if you fall into rent arrears.
However, your housing association may have failed in the discharge of these responsibilities. This will lead to unfair treatment of the tenants. Unfair treatment also arises when the housing association treats a tenant more favourably than another. This could be a result of racial differences, religious beliefs, gender, disability, sexual orientation, etc.
The Equality Act 2010 outlines that discrimination can occur if you are not treated equally as a result of:
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Religious beliefs
- Gender reassignment
- Sexual orientation
If you have been unfairly treated or discriminated against by your housing association, it will please you to know that you can make claims against your landlord or the housing association.
Each housing association has a complaints procedure which explains:
- how you make a complaint
- how your landlord deal with your complaint
- what you can do if you’re not happy with their response to your complaint
The complaints procedure should be on your landlord’s website. However, if you’re unable to find it, you can enquire from your house officer for a copy.
What can I complain about?
Using the complaints procedure, you can complain against your landlord or housing association if you’re unhappy about:
- how your housing association treated you
- a decision your housing association has made about your case
- the quality of service your housing association provided
- how long it’s taking the association to do something.
You may also complain about housing disrepair as a fault of your landlord or the housing association. In this case, you can make housing disrepair claims against the defaulting party.
|You can choose to make your complaint in writing or by talking to your housing association. |
While making your complaints, it is important to state in clear terms:
To find out whether you might qualify for a housing disrepair compensation, feel free to contact us today to speak with an expert at no cost
Making a complaint against your housing association:
If you have been unfairly treated by our housing association, then you can make a complaint against the association. If you rented or are renting from a private landlord, you need to tread carefully before making a complaint to him. This is to avoid being evicted from the property before your complaint is taken much further.
It is imperative that you understand that you can settle a case of unfair treatment by your housing agent amicably, without going to court. All you have to do is make contact with your housing agent, informing them of your complaint. If they go ahead to address the complaint, relieving you of your troubles, then there is absolutely no need to go to court.
However, if the housing association refuses to address your complaint amicably, then the case should be made legal.
But before you take your complaint to court, you must first ensure that your case against the association is strongly established, with evidence to prove, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that you have been wrongly treated by the housing association.
You actually do not need lots of evidence in order to have a strong case. It is more important than the evidence you have is strong and of good quality.
Strong evidence could include evidence that is:
- from another party who witnessed the discriminatory incident
- from a third party who isn’t personally or professionally linked to either you or the housing association
- factual – such as a letter giving a poor reason for refusing a reasonable adjustment
- put together at the time or a short time after the incident.
Here, it becomes doubly crucial that you keep records of all the wrongs done to you, as this will serve as strong evidence against the housing association.
Ensure that your factual records include the following:
- letters or emails to and from your landlord about repairs
- details of phone calls with your landlord including the time and date
- photos of problems and work done
- pictures of any damage caused by repairs
- details if the landlord or contractor did not turn up when expected
- medical letters or reports if your health has been affected by housing disrepair problems
- receipts for any money you spent, for example, to replace belongings damaged by mould
In addition to the above, if there is any other document you feel may be of importance in establishing your case, it is important that you keep it in order.
Can I claim for housing disrepair?
Housing disrepair refers to a rented property that is in need of repair in order for it to be safe and suitable for people to live in.
If your apartment is in need of repair but your landlord or housing association fails to fix it (especially if they have fixed the same for another tenant), this can pass as discrimination or unfair treatment. You can make a housing disrepair claim for compensation against your landlord or the housing association.
For instance, if you have complained to your landlord or housing association that your apartment is affected by mould, but they fail to do something about it, you are well within your legal rights to sue the landlord for mould and claim compensation thereafter.
Our housing disrepair solicitors can help you achieve this, relieving you of the stressful thought of how to claim compensation from your landlord, irrespective of your location. For instance, if you are in London, you may search for housing disrepair solicitors, London, so you can easily make contact with us in your location to help you fight for your housing disrepair compensation.
How much can I claim?
What individuals are awarded as compensation varies according to the type of case involved. In most cases that have been settled without going to court, the tenants receive an apology and promise to rectify the issues at hand.
Nevertheless, there are cases that have settled either between the two parties involved or with the involvement of a lawyer which yielded financial compensation.
If a court finds out that discrimination has taken place, it may order the landlord or housing association to:
- rent the particular rental to the person who brought the discrimination charge
- pay actual damages to an applicant you illegally rejected, such as an additional rent the tenant had to pay elsewhere as a result of being turned down unfairly
- pay compensatory damages, such as payment for the tenant’s humiliation or emotional distress, and/or
- pay a civil penalty
The amount of compensation awarded is largely determined by the severity of the disrepair or the consequences of the unfair treatment meted to you. This means that a much more severe case will earn you a higher amount of compensation, and vice versa.
Can I claim on a no win no fee basis?
Yes, you can, but unfortunately, not all solicitors offer this service. Here, we give you the opportunity to claim on the agreement of no win no fee. Our expert Housing disrepair solicitors will not charge you a dime throughout the claim process. You will also not face any hidden charges or bills to be paid throughout the process of claiming.
You will only be required to pay a contingency fee for your lawyer’s services if your claim is successful. We shall negotiate with you, a certain percentage not more than 25% of the total compensation received, to be paid at the end of the successful process.
We can help
If you have your mindset on claiming compensation for housing disrepair or unfair treatment by your housing association or landlord, we are your go-to guys!
We pride ourselves in bringing you close to the best housing disrepair solicitors in England and all across the UK. Our solicitors are specialists who have handled many disrepair claims by tenants who were unfairly treated. They have helped numerous persons gain various disrepair compensations, including compensation for mould and damp, among others.
Our processes are quite straightforward and stress-free. Also, our no win no fee agreement allows you a cost-free claiming process with a benefit of zero financial risk associated.
Contact us today through our housing disrepair helpline to help you claim the compensation you deserve.
What are examples of unfair treatment by housing associations?
Examples of unfair treatment by housing associations include, but are not limited to the following:
- Refusing to sell, rent, or lease.
- Refusing to negotiate for a sale, rental, or lease.
- Saying that housing or an apartment is not available for inspection, sale, or rental when it is, in fact, available.
- Denying or withholding housing accommodations.
- Providing inferior housing terms, conditions, privileges, facilities, or services.
- Harassing a person in connection with housing accommodations.
- Cancelling or terminating a sale or rental agreement.
- Providing segregated or separated housing accommodations.
- Placing an advertisement regarding the rental or sale of any housing accommodation
- that indicates any preference or limitation based upon race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, or any other protected characteristics.
Can I sue my landlord for emotional distress?
If a landlord causes you severe emotional distress that does not result in physical harm, you can recover from this purely emotional injury if your landlord’s actions were reckless or intentional. You can sue your landlord, and he will be required to pay money damages. The money damages may be doubled or tripled if you also claim that the action was an unfair or deceptive practice.
How do housing associations work?
Housing associations’ day-to-day activities are funded by rent and service charges payments made by, or on behalf of, those living in its properties. In this sense, housing associations are run as commercial entities and the majority do not depend on donations for their general activities.
Can I rent out my housing association property?
You can sublet part of your home with your landlord’s written permission. If you sublet part of your home without permission, you are in breach of your tenancy agreement. You can’t lawfully sublet all of your home. If you do, you lose your status as a secure tenant and your landlord can evict you.