A house is said to be in disrepair if it falls below acceptable living conditions and constitute a health or safety risk for the occupants.
Housing Disrepair Implies:
Housing disrepair claims are made by tenants who have lived or are still living in houses in disrepair and have made complaints to their landlords who have failed to listen and make the necessary repairs.
Section 11 of The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, outlines some of the responsibilities of the landlord to the tenants living in his property. These include;
- To ensure that the house is in good structural state
- To ensure that the house is free from issues like leaks, mould and damp
- Making sure that the facilities for space and water heating are in good working condition
- See to it that basic needs such as electricity, gas and water are provided
- Ensure that the property vermin, rodent and insect free
- Provide working drainage channels to avoid flooding, including equipment for sanitation
HERE ARE 5 REASONS WHY YOUR TENANT CAN (RIGHTFULLY) SUE YOU THE LANDLORD
CASE OF WRONGFUL EVICTION
A Landlord is not supposed to wrongfully evict his tenant. Of course, there are times when landlords can rightfully seek to evict a tenant from their rental property for non-payment of rent, failing to move out at the end of the tenancy, or breach of any of the tenancy agreement.
However, there are other times when it would be wrong to evict the tenant. Some of these instances include;
- Retaliatory Eviction: For instance, where the landlord has been notified by the tenant of disrepairs or hazards in the property but fails to take action but seeks to evict the tenant or take possession of the rental property, this can be termed retaliatory and it is wrong. The tenant can sue the landlord.
- Not Following Eviction Procedures: Even when the landlord is right to evict the tenant, there are due eviction procedures which have to be followed. If these rules are not followed, the tenant can turn it in his favour and take legal actions against the landlord.
PRIVACY VIOLATIONS OR HARASSMENT
When there is a breach of quiet enjoyment which the tenant is entitled to or the landlord changes the locks of the tenant’s home without any reason or prior notice or cuts off utilities to the home for no cause, the tenant can make claims.
Forms of harassment which can make the tenant make claims include the following;
- Cutting off utilities such as electricity or water.
- Improper or forced entry into the tenant’s property.
- Letting others into the tenant’s home without due notice or consent.
UNLIVABLE CONDITIONS (DISREPAIR)
Cases of disrepair are the most common issues for which tenants make claims against their landlords. Some of the disrepair issue which can force a tenant to make claims include;
- Presence of Mould and Damp
- Presence of Leaks and Structural Cracks or defects which pose severe threat to the tenant’s safety
- Flooding and drainage issues
- Severe Rodent infestation
- Vermin and insect Infestation
- Poor ventilation
- Lack of sewage disposal
- Water or Space Heater problems, etc.
- Any condition posing severe health or fire risk.
The landlord is expected to treat all tenants fairly, dealing with them honestly and without any form of discrimination or favoritism.
However, when a tenant is being discriminated against based on race, color, religion, nationality, sex, disability, familial status or other reasons, then they can make a claim against the landlord.
FAILING TO REIMBURSE YOUR TENANT FOR A REPAIR
There are certain repairs which are the landlord’s responsibility to carry out and they have to do so within a reasonable amount of time taking into cognizance the severity of the disrepair and its impact on the health and safety of the tenant.
When the landlord fails to do the needful and the tenant is forced to carry out the repair, it is the duty of the landlord to refund the tenant the money spent on the repair and if they fail to do this, the tenant has the right to take legal actions.
HOW TO CLAIM COMPENSATION FROM YOUR LANDLORD
For you to claim compensation from your landlord for disrepair either a private landlord or a housing association disrepair, you will need best housing disrepair solicitors to guide you on the claims process.
But before you come to your solicitors, you should have made an attempt to reach out to your landlord and make complaints. Here are the procedures to take;
- Verbally discuss or write to your landlord about the disrepair issues you are facing in your house.
- Give a two-week time frame for your landlord to respond and there is no feedback, reach out to him again; you can even attach images of the disrepair so that he can see how severe it is.
- Reach out to your local council authority if your landlord continues to ignore you. They should be able to make contact with your landlord and get him to do the needful
Please Note The Following;
Keep in safe care all pieces of information and proof of correspondence between you and your landlord as they will be very important during the claims process.
Providing pictures of your home showing the severity of damage and extent of disrepair will also further strengthen your claim
Also, ensure to include whatever expenses or inconveniences you have had to incur as a result of the disrepair.
Additionally, where you have suffered health issues from the disrepair, please provide the medical report.
Our solicitors will walk you through the entire process simplifying it for you so that you can understand.
Can I Sue My Landlord?
Tenants are supposed to enjoy certain rights in their homes or rented apartments and top of that list is to live in a home in a good state of repair. When your landlord has failed in his duty to keep your home in good repair causing you to suffer damages to your belongings, financial losses as well as health challenges as a result of the disrepair, then you can sue your landlord for housing disrepair.
We boast some of the best housing disrepair solicitors who have helped so many tenants gain justice from their unreasonable landlords.
Our no win no fee housing solicitors undertake disrepair claims by tenants without requiring you to make any upfront legal fee payment.
We have housing disrepair solicitors London as well as housing disrepair claims Manchester solicitors who will help you get the right compensation amount for your claims wherever you are and also ensure that the repairs are carried out.
You can reach out to us by calling our housing disrepair helpline to speak with one of our expert solicitors and discuss your claims.