Your Guide To Housing Disrepair ClaimsHousing disrepair is when a rented property becomes unsafe or uncomfortable for a tenant to live in because the landlord has failed to carry out the necessary work within a reasonable amount of time after being informed of the issue. As a tenant, you have a right to live in a property that is structurally sound and internally safe for living in. If this has not been your experience and you are living in rented property in need of repair or that is poorly maintained by the landlord, you may be eligible to make a housing disrepair claim.
Landlords And HousingIf you rent your home, your landlord has a duty of care to ensure it is safe and suitable for you to live in. This is a legal responsibility of all landlords, whether you’re a social tenant in a council-owned property or a private tenant in privately-owned property. Under the Homes (Fitness For Human Habitation) Act, repairs to property are now contractual and a failure to complete repairs is a breach of contract that allows the tenant to take legal action. Legally, landlords must ensure the property is:
- In a good condition structurally
- Free from damp and mould
- Fitted with working drains and gutters
- Safe and has access to electricity, gas and water
- Warmed by a working heating system
- Free from vermin or insect infestation
Housing DisrepairThere are many examples of housing disrepair, including condensation, poor ventilation, no heating, and rotten window frames. As a guide, the following issues when left unfixed after you notify your landlord of the issue, are considered examples of housing disrepair:
- Cracks in the external walls that let cold air in
- Rotten window or door frames that let water or cold air in
- Cracked plaster on internal walls
- Broken or faulty gas boilers that are dangerous
- No heating due to a faulty system or boiler
- Leaking pipes that cause damp and mould
- Loose tiles on the roof that cause damp or cold air to get in
- Sanitation units that are broken or faulty
- Mice or insect invasion
Housing Disrepair ClaimsLiving in a property that is cold, damp, unsafe or uncomfortable, as a result of your landlord’s failure to carry out repairs within a reasonable amount of time after being notified of the issues by you, could mean you have a right to make a housing disrepair claim for compensation. The most common types of housing disrepair claims relate to:
- Health Damp homes or living in a house with no heating or with draughts can cause chest infections and illness.
- Inconvenience Part or all of the house may become uninhabitable and cause you to live in a smaller area than is comfortable.
- Damage Water leaking or damp conditions can ruin clothing and bedding, etc, or it may be your belongings are damaged when repairs are carried out.