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As a tenant, whether private or through a Council or Housing Association, your landlord has a duty to ensure that your property is maintained to an acceptable standard. Although most tenants enjoy a good relationship with their landlord, there are occasions when elements of disrepair are either not dealt with adequately or at all.
At Oakwood Solicitors, we have a dedicated and knowledgeable Housing Disrepair team who can assist with claims for Housing Disrepair from all areas of England and Wales. We specialise in acting for clients on a ‘no-win, no-fee’ basis.
What is housing disrepair?
Housing disrepair refers to the state in which a property needs restoration for safety purposes and to ensure that it meets adequate living standards for tenants to occupy. It is important to report any issues to your landlord, and if they fail to carry out the repair or remedial work in a reasonable amount of time and to an acceptable standard – it could be considered housing disrepair.
Depending on the nature of the disrepair, some tenants who experience poor living conditions may also find that there is a risk to their health. For example, the disrepair may result in an immediate risk to the occupant’s health in that there may be safety issues caused by the defence.
We understand that often, the condition of a property is such that it causes inconvenience, anxiety and distress and in some cases can exacerbate underlying health conditions such as asthma.
What are the most common kinds of housing disrepair?
Common disrepair problems we can assist with include:
What evidence will I need to support my housing disrepair claim?
How we can help?
In addition to ensuring that the property undergoes the necessary repairs, we can also assist in claiming compensation to reflect the period of nuisance and inconvenience experienced. Furthermore, where it can be proven that living conditions have caused or contributed to health issues, we can assist in claiming compensation for this personal injury also.
Our priority is to ensure that steps are taken by your landlord or the Council to remedy the disrepair to your property, and to return your home to a safe and habitable state. As such, once you choose to instruct us, we will take immediate steps to make contact with your landlord and to arrange an inspection of the property by an independent, recognised firm of surveyors.
The surveyor will assess the extent of disrepair to the property and produce a report detailing the repairs necessary. We may also organise a medical appointment for yourself should you feel that the disrepair has resulted in you sustaining a personal injury.
How much can I claim?
The amount claimed for a housing disrepair case will depend on the duration of the problems experienced, the extent of the disrepair, and the amount of rent paid. Damages for nuisance and inconvenience will often be calculated as a percentage of the rent according to the number of rooms affected.
A separate award of compensation may be made for personal injuries, providing that a medical expert apportions those injuries in full or part to the housing disrepair.
Why should I choose Oakwood Solicitors Ltd?
From the start of your claim until the conclusion you will have a dedicated advisor who will run your claim, assisting you in the event of any queries or issues you may have.
Regular updates will be provided by your case handler up until your claim has ended. This is to ensure the process is as stress-free and effortless as possible.
Issues with damp and cold in a rental property
A private tenant of a two-bedroom flat paid £1,500 rent per month from 19th October 2010 until 12th October 2013. The tenant experienced issues with damp and cold in the living room, a problem with the toilet (which didn’t flush properly), and damp in the second bedroom which made the entire room uninhabitable for the tenant’s four-year-old autistic son.
The tenant decided to make a claim against the landlord.
In Court, the Judge considered the issues the tenant had faced, particularly the loss of use the second bedroom that the tenant wanted to use as their son’s bedroom in order to give him more space, but couldn’t as a result of the housing disrepair.
The tenant was awarded compensation which included: 40% of the rent for the first two years (when all the problems existed), and 25% of the rent for the third year (as the toilet had been fixed). This amounted to £18, 900.00; and the Judge further awarded an additional 10% for the Claimant’s inconvenience which brought the global total to £20,790.00.
If you believe or feel you have a claim, contact us for a free initial consultation regarding your options:
Laura Walton is a Solicitor working within the Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution Team having trained and qualified at Oakwood Solicitors. Laura is passionate about helping her clients find the right resolution for them, whether that be by way of Alternative Dispute Resolution and/or proceeding to litigate matters when the parties are unable to amicably settle matters between them.
Regularly instructed by both claimants and defendants, Laura has a great insight into both parties’ positions and being able to objectively assess the strengths and weaknesses of both parties cases. To name a few, Laura is often instructed in relation to Breach of Contract claims, Professional Negligence claims, Construction Disputes, Contractual Issues and Landlord and Tenant disputes.
Laura undertakes her own advocacy and regularly attends court on behalf of her clients. She also attends mediations with clients, often achieving the best result for them on the day.