Usually, in most tenancy agreements or leases the landlord is responsible for repairing and maintaining the exterior structure and common parts of a building. Even if this is not spelt out in your agreement, landlords are generally required by the law to ensure that homes are safe to live in.
Tenants on the other hand are expected to use their homes in a tenant-like fashion by keeping the home in a good state of repair. For example, keeping the house reasonably clean, using fixtures in the home properly or handling minor repairs themselves.
Housing disrepair should normally not result in any dispute if landlords, as part of their responsibility, comply by carrying out repairs when needed.
What is housing disrepair?
Housing disrepair basically means a rented home or any other rented accommodation that needs repair for it to qualify as safe and habitable for tenants to live in. If you are living in a rented accommodation that requires repair, you could seek compensation for the inconvenience. This is typical in situations where the landlord has acted negligently and failed to keep to his own side of the agreement(fixing repair problems)
What is a housing disrepair claim?
A housing disrepair claim is a type of lawsuit that usually involves a tenant taking legal action against the landlord for failing to fix damages on the rented property. If you have reported or made a complaint to your landlord about the disrepair, and you have given him enough time to fix it, and he still ignores you. Then making a housing disrepair claim is the appropriate thing to do. You should never have to put up with degrading or unhealthy living conditions.
What does Housing disrepair protocol entail?
Housing disrepair protocols basically describe the action that the court expects each party to follow in the housing disrepair claim before proceeding to the court. The reason for this is to enable the interaction between them and hopefully allow them resolve the issue quickly.
Prior to a claim, the tenant is required to send a letter to the landlord called an early notification letter, warning them of possible court action. Thereafter, the tenant will give the landlord a reasonable amount of time to work on the complaint. The landlord has 20 working days to respond. If the response is not satisfactory, or the problem is not resolved, the tenants can now apply to the county court.
A letter of claim should contain the following:
- The tenant’s name, address of the property, address of the tenant if it is different from the one in the dispute, contact telephone number.
- Detail of the effects, including defects outstanding
- A detailed history of the defects, and also any attempt to rectify them
- Details of any notification previously given to the landlord
- The effects of the defects on the tenant including any personal injury claim
- The name of a proposed expert
- The proposed letter of instruction to the expert (there is usually a standard letter in the protocol)
- Details of special damages (the tenant should by payment of compensation be put back in a situation he would have been in if there was no breach of the lease)
- The tenants disclosure to any relevant document that is readily available
- Request disclosures from the landlord of all documents relevant to the disrepair.
The Landlord’s Response
The normal time limit for a response from the landlord is 20 working days of receipt of letter of claim. The landlord’s response should enclose details of all relevant records or documents and response to the tenant’s proposal about the expert. If after the time limit there is no response from the landlord, legal proceedings can be issued as soon as the tenant has enough information to help them do so.
Admission or denial of liability
Whether within the landlord’s response or within 20 working days of receiving the expert’s report the landlord should:
- Indicate whether liability is admitted or disputed
- Make any allegation about lack of notice or difficulty with access
- Send a full schedule of intended works with anticipated start and completion dates and a timetable
- Make an offer of compensation and cost
- Experts and the protocol
There are detailed stages in the protocols regarding instructions of an expert. Both the landlord and the tenant should attempt to agree on a single expert. Where this is impossible, a joint inspection by their individual experts should be agreed.
Cost and the protocol
If the housing disrepair issue is sorted out before going to court through the use of the protocol, the landlord should pay the tenants cost and expenses within reason. Just like all legal matters, the court expects legal action to be the last option, so consideration of Alternative Dispute Resolution is seen positively. Alternative Dispute Resolution could include mediation, attribution or early neutral evaluation
Housing Disrepair solicitors
At Housing Disrepair Claim, we work with some of the best housing disrepair solicitors available. They have a lot of experience in defending the rights of tenants for a very long time. We understand how disruptive it can be when a landlord refused to repair faults or hasn’t kept to the lease agreement. We also understand the impact that this might have on you and your loved one and that is why; we make sure you get quick results wherever possible.
Our housing disrepair lawyers can help you re-claim your rent and any cost you have spent in repairing your rented home.
Housing disrepair is not limited to only physical deterioration. It can be rat infestation, mould problem, broken boiler, or leaking gutter to mention a few. Whatever the problem that prevents you from enjoying your rented home our team of experienced solicitors and surveyors are here to help you and guide you to ensure that you are compensated for what is your right.
No Win No Fee agreement
One of the advantages of working with our solicitors is that they offer their services on a no win no fee basis for tenants. We are well aware that a lot of people living in properties that are in a state of disrepair may not be able to afford to pay the legal fees required to do all this work. Oftentimes, these persons are seen enduring poor living conditions as a result.
A No win no fee housing disrepair means that you do not have to pay until we recover all cost from the landlord. Our solicitors will take a percentage fraction of any compensation received. Our initial evaluation of the property will give you a good idea of whether or not we are going to be successful or whether we would wish to proceed with the case. If we take on a case, and we are successful, that is the only time you are required to pay. Likewise if we are unsuccessful, you do not owe us anything.
You can also claim for items that are damaged or destroyed because of poor conditions or during repair works, in this case you will be covered by the no win no fee solicitors property damage.
How to claim compensation from your landlord?
The first thing to do if you want to claim compensation for housing disrepair is to have an initial interview via telephone with your solicitors. Thereafter they will come to the property to inspect it themselves. This is so that they can make quick and accurate assessment of the property and inform you on whether or not you have a valid claim.
If you choose to work with one of our housing disrepair solicitors, you can be rest assured to have a successful case as we have recorded a very high success rate over the years.
The next step is for us to write to your landlord informing them of the make the necessary improvement to the property. Additionally, they will be informed that if they do not make necessary work, then they will be taken to court where they will be given an order to those improvements, and also compensation for you and your family.
When it comes to compensation, this is basically calculated by the nature and degree of the disrepair and also by the length of time in which it has persisted. It is important to note that taking action against a landlord does not in any way affect your tenancy. Your landlord does not have the right to evict you or take any other action against you if you complain about disrepair or if you instruct solicitors to help you take legal action. Your landlord can only take action against you if you breach your tenancy conditions and agreement.
Contact us today
Feel free to fill our free assessment form with the details of your issues and we will get back to you within 24hours to discuss how we can help you. Alternatively, you could give us a call on our housing disrepair helpline and we would be on hand to attend to all your queries.
Don’t live in disrepair when you can always get repair!