Landlords are primarily responsible for keeping the structure and exterior of a rented property in a good state of repair and ensure all systems are working properly. Any tenancy agreement you sign will usually have a section where your landlord’s responsibilities are explained. If your rented property is in poor condition and your landlord is refusing to do vital repairs that puts you in harm’s way, you can make housing disrepair claims against your landlord.
Vital repairs are those that impact your quality of life and can expose you to health problems and make your home insecure. For instance, if the lock of your front door has a problem or your gas central heating system fails to function, or there is excessive damp, your home becomes unsafe for you to live in and it is the responsibility of your landlord to fix the damage.
Here are some of the actions you can take if your landlord has refused to make necessary repairs:
Gather Records and Evidence of the Disrepair
You should keep records and evidence of the disrepair. This will be helpful in your pursuit of a solution. Take photos of the repair problem as well as damage to your belongings and send them to your landlord. Photo evidence is the best way to communicate with your landlord especially if you have complained verbally and he has failed to take action.
If the housing disrepair is putting your life in danger and your landlord has refused to fix them, then you may reach out to the authorities. It is your landlord’s responsibility to ensure gas, electric and other appliance installations are functioning the way they should. Before escalating the matter, however, you may need to chase them again.
Chase Your Landlord
A landlord can only be held responsible for housing disrepair when they know about it; so, the first step is to inform your landlord exactly what repairs you need in writing and how this is affecting your quality of life. Do this by letter or email so you can refer to them later on.
When you write your landlord, remind them of their responsibility to carry out repairs, suggest dates they could do the repairs and let them know the quality of repair you would consider acceptable. After writing, it is important to allow a reasonable amount of time for your landlord to get the repairs done, as they may need to get quotes and make arrangements for the repairs. The deadline for this is 21 days from when your landlord receives your correspondence.
If the housing disrepair is minor and wouldn’t cost too much to fix, you can pay for them to be done. When you do this, keep all quotes and receipts of the payments you made so you can ask that your landlord take them off your monthly rent.
Inform your landlord of your intentions to contact the local council
If your landlord still fails to do the repairs or does not respond at all, write to them again and inform them about your intentions to contact your local authority so they can come to inspect your home. This may be just enough to get your landlord to take action; this is because once the local authorities come around, they will not only look out for the problems you reported but other housing disrepair issues you may not have noticed.
Request help from your local council authority
Under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System, your local council can inspect your home to ensure it is safe for you to live in. If the inspection is done and they discover too many issues, they will give your landlord a deadline to carry out necessary repairs. If your landlord fails to comply, your local council can plan on taking landlord to court.
If communication between you and your landlord has broken down, your local council may also be able to make negotiations on your behalf. Keep in mind that your local council may not be able to help if they do not think your health is in danger. In this case, you can reach out to a local advice center (Citizens Advice) or your local housing charity (e.g. Shelter).
Take Legal Action
Taking legal action should be your last resort if you have exhausted all available options and your landlord still refuses to carry out repairs. If you decide to take legal action against you landlord, you can order them to do the repairs and pay compensation for damages incurred.
How to Claim Compensation from Your Landlord
If your rented property is in a state of disrepair and your landlord continues to ignore the problem, you may be able to make a compensation claim for disrepair. You can claim compensation for the inconvenience you have endured, property damage due to the disrepair, injuries suffered, and loss of income if the housing disrepair affected your ability to work.
When making housing disrepair claims against your landlord, you will need the support of experienced disrepair solicitors to enhance your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve and cover the cost of the hardship you endured as a result of your landlord’s negligence.
However, before contacting solicitors that deal with housing issues in London and other parts of the UK, you will need to gather supporting evidence for your claim. Evidence gathering was discussed at the outset of this article.
When it comes to making housing disrepair claims, it is very important that you prove that your landlord has acted negligently. Your landlord can be considered negligent if they have refused to comply with the standards set by the Landlord and Tenants Act of 1985. If they have breached their duty as outlined in this act, you may be able to pursue a claim for disrepair.
What Can I Claim Against My Landlord?
You can make claims for a range of damages, including:
- General damages
This is compensation for intangible damages such as the emotional suffering you endured as a result of your landlord’s negligence. It compensates for the long-term pain your landlord’s actions has had on your life as well as any loss of reputation you may suffer.
- Special damages
This compensates for the loss of earnings due to the negligence of your landlord. If you have suffered an injury as a result of your landlord’s continued refusal to do repairs, you may claim compensation for the medical expenses and travel costs associated with your care.
The Housing Disrepair Law is on Your Side
If you have found yourself in a situation where your landlord has ignored calls for repairs on your rented property, it is worth noting that the law protects you. In the past, landlord obligations under the law were vague and difficult to prove, but this is no longer the case. Tenants deserve to live in a safe and secure space and where appropriate measures are not taken to ensure the rented property remains habitable, compensation claims can be made.
No Win No Fee Housing Disrepair Claims
If you are considering pursuing a claim for disrepair against your landlord, funding may prove to be a challenge. At housingdisrepairclaim.co.uk, we work with a panel of specialist housing disrepair solicitors who will discuss the details of your case and determine if you have a reasonable chance of a successful claim. If we believe you have a claim, we will offer a No Win No Fee agreement to shoulder the costs of making a claim on your behalf.
Under the No Win No Fee arrangement, you do not have to pay any upfront solicitor fees and we guarantee that we will do our best to secure the compensation you deserve.
Why Choose Us?
If you decide to make a claim for disrepair against your landlord, you will need the support of a reliable solicitor to provide you with expert insight and reduce the financial risk of pursuing a claim. With our knowledge and experience in dealing with compensation claims against landlords, you can count on us to give you the support you need to make a claim. We prioritise the well-being of our clients – and will be happy to help you get your life back on track.
Call us today on 0800 999 7440 for a free, no obligation advice on your potential claim.