Over a period of 18 months, a housing association tenant repeatedly begged his landlord for repair work to be done on his mould and vermin-infested property, but without success, during which time he and his two sisters were forced to live in appalling conditions.
The tenant’s property had multiple problems, including damp and mould caused by water streaming into the property, a missing ceiling, exposed asbestos, and a cockroach and rodent infestation. He informed his landlord (Europe’s largest housing association) about the issues on numerous occasions, yet no repair work was carried out until the tenant posted photos of the dilapidated flat on Twitter, after which his case quickly gained publicity and the housing association finally took action.
The chairman of the housing association told the BBC, “We have been publicly shamed by the quality of some of our homes. We took our eye off the ball.”
The tenant has since decided to campaign on behalf of other social housing tenants, and shame housing associations and local councils into taking action to deal with disrepair issues. Many social housing tenants have been living in squalid conditions for decades, but have had their complaints ignored time and again. This recent case highlights how social media can be important in circulating pictures of unacceptable living conditions, and in helping tenants band together to force landlords into taking immediate action to fix problems.
Our firm has considerable experience in suing housing associations and local councils for disrepair issues including damp and mould, vermin infestations, and structural issues with walls and ceilings. Contact our housing law team for a free consultation: