Guide to Housing Disrepair Claim
In simple words, housing disrepair is the gradual or sudden sliding of your house or flat into a condition of severe degradation. The deterioration can be the result of accidental damage or a long-standing repair/renovation. The disrepair can be in an exterior space that is connected to your home or in the interior of your house or flat. Such disrepair is not limited to a physical decline. Vermin or insect infestation, mold problems, plumbing, gutter, or boiler issues may also constitute housing disrepair. In short, housing disrepair is any condition that prevents you from living a safe and secure life in your rented home.
What Are The Landlord’s Responsibilities?
If you are living in rented accommodation and it has fallen into disrepair, then it is the landlord’s responsibility to fix it. Landlords are legally obligated to maintain the physical structure and general condition of their property. If they fail to do so, you may have a case against them. The Landlord and Tenant Act of 1985 spell out their responsibilities. These include:
-Keeping up to standard exterior structures such as drains, gutters, and pipes
-Keeping up to standard systems related to the supply of water, gas, and electricity
-Keeping up to standard fixtures and structures away from damping
-Keeping up to standard systems and devices used for gas and water heating
How Can You Claim For Housing Disrepair Compensation?
To claim housing disrepair compensation, you must show that there has been a marked deterioration in your rented accommodation and that your landlord has refused to carry out the necessary repairs. You should show that living in such conditions can seriously affect your quality of life. And you must cite specific instances of material and non-material injury when advancing your claim. These can include:
- Damage to belongings
If, for example, mold growth in the flat has damaged your clothes and bedding, you can make a claim. You can also claim compensation if your carpets have been damaged by a leak or your electrical appliances have been destroyed because of faulty electric wiring/connections. To prove the damage, you will need to take photographs of the affected property or show receipts for replacement items you have had to purchase.
- Personal injury
If you or any of your loved ones have fallen ill because of the bad condition of the property, you can compel the landlord to compensate you. You can receive money for hospital bills, loss of wages, and pain and suffering.
You can claim money for the inconvenience caused by the disrepair. It can come in the form of direct cash or a partial rebate on your rent for the period in which space was in a bad condition.
When Can You Make a Housing Disrepair Claim Against Your Landlord?
You can take action against your landlord during or after your tenancy. However, you must submit a formal complaint to your landlord about the disrepair during your tenure. It is best to submit such a complaint in writing—an email or written letter is preferable.
You have up to 6 years to make a housing disrepair claim, and 3 years if it includes personal injury. The clock starts ticking from the moment your landlord should have done the repair.
How Much Compensation Can You Receive?
The amount of compensation you receive will depend on the seriousness of the disrepair and the evidence you can provide as proof. You can take photographs of damaged, rotted, degraded, and otherwise deteriorated spaces, systems, and structures with your mobile phone camera.
Actual compensation ranges from 25% to 50% of your rent.
How can a No Win No Fee solicitor be of help?
Living in housing that is in poor condition poses a threat to your safety and that of your loved ones. A flat filled with dampness and mold can cause respiratory problems. Floors, stairways, and banisters that are poorly maintained can lead to falls, cuts, and bruises. A malfunctioning boiler will make it impossible for you to sustain an acceptable standard of hygiene. A gas leak or faulty electrical wiring can threaten your very life.
Your landlord has a legal obligation to resolve any such discrepancies. You must persuade them to do the repairs but if they refuse, then you should contact a housing disrepair solicitor. The latter will help you build a case against your landlord, and they can also help protect you against retaliatory action.
There is a great advantage in working with a no-win no-fee housing solicitor. A lawyer who works on this basis will not take your case unless they are confident that they can win it. And they will put in all the efforts necessary to get you the compensation you deserve.