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.
How Can We 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.
What are the Most Common Kinds of Housing Disrepair?
Common disrepair problems we can assist with include:
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.
What Evidence Will I Need to Support My Housing Disrepair Claim?
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.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
If you have previously complained to your landlord, the Council, or your Housing Association with regard to issues with your property and you feel that they have failed to deal with the problem, call us now on 0113 200 9787 or contact us through one of the methods on the right-hand side of this page to see whether you may be entitled to claim for compensation.