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Making A Claim For Housing Disrepair Compensation

Your landlord has a legal duty to maintain the structure of your home and ensure the structure is kept in a reasonable condition and that you are able to live in it safely and comfortably. If this has not been your experience as a tenant and you’ve suffered as a result of your landlord’s refusal following notice to carry out repairs or maintain the property, you may be entitled to make a housing disrepair claim.

If your landlord has failed to maintain the property or has refused to make repairs when asked, he or she could be in breach of your tenancy agreement and you can likely ask the court to compel your landlord to make the repairs as well as make a claim for compensation.

What Is Your Landlord Responsible For?

The responsibilities of your landlord will depend on the terms of your contract. However, as a minimum your landlord will be expected to keep the property structurally safe and to repair faults when they arise within the property.

Some landlords are responsible for the maintenance of the whole property, including the exterior, any communal areas and garden, and the white goods used in the house. However, as a guide, landlord responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring the property meets fire safety regulations
  • Servicing the boiler
  • Maintaining the plasterwork, roof and brickwork
  • Fixing any gas and water leaks
  • Removing any mould and damp

What Are The Risks Of Housing Disrepair?

Housing disrepair can cause stress, inconvenience and worse – living in substandard or dangerous conditions can lead to illness, injury and even death.

Housing disrepair risks include the following:

  • Damage to belongings caused by leaks
  • Higher heating bills incurred due to draughty windows
  • Respiratory problems caused by leaks and damp
  • Injuries caused by dangerous, poorly maintained brickwork
  • Illness or fatalities caused by inadequately serviced boilers leaking carbon monoxide
  • Fire risk caused by poorly maintained white goods

How Much Compensation Are You Entitled To?

When a claim is made for housing disrepair against a landlord, many factors need to be considered, including the level of inconvenience and stress caused by living in the property or whether you’ve had to move out because of the disrepair, and the amount of damage to belongings or to you personally as a result.

Factors that are taken into account with a housing disrepair claim, include:

  • Length of time you’ve lived with the disrepair
  • If you’ve had to move into another property
  • Amount and severity of ill health or injury caused.  It is important that you have records of visits to your GP or a hospital recording the injury or ill health.
  • Damage to belongings – keep photos of any items that have been damaged
  • Evidence of disrepair, loss or damage – take photos or videos and record damage to clothing or furniture that may be thrown away.

Compensation is usually awarded as a percentage of the amount of rent you pay depending on your suffering and loss, and it doesn’t matter if someone else pays your rent, such as the Housing Benefits department, as it’s simply a way of calculating the amount of compensation you should receive. In rare cases where the property has been without heating, water and electricity plus has had a risk of structural failings, the tenant may receive 100percent of the rent – normally however, compensation is in the region of 25-50percent of the rent.

How We Can Help

Our experienced property solicitors have handled all types of claims against landlords for disrepair and are here to help you if you’ve suffered an illness or injury, stress or loss, due to property disrepair and want to make a claim for compensation.

There is a Housing Disrepair Protocol we all follow and a process for making compensation and we will guide you through each step.  It can be a daunting prospect to make a housing disrepair claim, which is why we provide support from the outset – from the initial consultation to decide the details of your claim for compensation right through to the outcome of your claim, we will support you at every step to make the process as straightforward and stress-free as possible.

For advice and guidance on your housing situation or to speak to one of our property solicitors about making a housing disrepair claim, contact us on freephone 0800 988 3674 or Tel Chester: 01244 405 399 or email advice@bartletts.co.uk or complete the free enquiry below: