Complete Guide To Housing Disrepair
If you are experiencing ongoing disrepair in your home, have made one or more complaints to your landlord and they have failed to carry out any repairs, then you could be entitled to claim compensation.
If you rent your home, it is a legal requirement for your landlord to carry out repairs to the property.
We, therefore, understand how distressing it can be if your landlord refuses to fix your home as having safe living conditions are the bare minimum people should expect.
If you believe you have a housing disrepair claim, find out what’s required by reading our full guide to housing disrepair below.
What's On This Page?
Click the links below and head straight to a specific section of the article.
- What Is Housing Disrepair?
- What Is A Housing Disrepair Claim?
- Who Can Claim Housing Disrepair?
- What Can I Claim Housing Disrepair For?
- How Much Notice Does My Landlord Need?
- How Much Can I Claim?
- How Do You Make A Claim For Housing Disrepair?
- What Evidence Will I Need for a Housing Disrepair Claim?
- How Long is The Claim Process?
- What is a claims management company?
What Is Housing Disrepair?
If a property is considered in disrepair, then it means it requires sufficient repairs for it to be determined safe and suitable to live in.
This usually applies to rented homes or any other rented accommodation.
If you rent a home that is in disrepair, then you are eligible for compensation for any inconvenience, discomfort, and suffering caused.
If you are a tenant living in a rented property, your landlord is required by law to ensure:
Structurally, your home is in a good state of repair
There is no considerable damp or mould in the property
You can safely access gas, electricity and water
Your hygiene facilities such as toilets and sinks are in working order
Your home has no vermin or infestations
You have a functioning heating system
All drains and gutters are working correctly
You have a stable and secure roof
If any of the above hasn’t been sufficiently carried out then you may be eligible to claim compensation, forcing your landlord to carry out repairs.
What Is A Housing Disrepair Claim?
A housing disrepair claim often occurs when you have reported the issue to your landlord, and allowed them a substantial amount of time to carry out the repairs, yet they have failed to carry out the required repairs or ignored your request completely.
A disrepair claim is then when a tenant takes legal action against their landlord to make them fix the disrepair, and potentially pay you compensation for any distress caused.
Who Can Claim Housing Disrepair?
Although each case is different, experts will be able to tell you relatively quickly whether you have a potentially successful claim. The criteria for an eligible claim includes:
If you rent your home privately or through social housing
The seriousness of the housing disrepair
If you live in a house or flat
If the disrepair has had an effect on your health
How long the disrepair has been there
How many times you have notified your landlord of the disrepair
If your landlord has taken any steps to repair the house
What Can I Claim Housing Disrepair For?
There have been various types of housing disrepair claims over the years. The main cases usually relate to:
Damp and Mould
This happens when the landlord has failed to deal with any rising damp and mould issues. This sort of disrepair can cause a number of health issues, such as problems with your breathing and your chest. This can often be the case with children or the elderly and if your landlord is refusing to get rid of damp or mould, then it’s certainly worth putting in a claim.
Problems with the faulty floorboards or stairs can cause a severe injury.
If you have pointed this out to your landlord and they are refusing to carry out the work required, you have grounds to make a claim.
Faulty electrics can also be particularly hazardous and result in a fatal injury.
Your landlord should ensure your home can pass any electrical safety requirements and that any loose wiring or faulty outlets are fixed as soon as possible.
Any leaks whether it be gas or water can cause severe issues to your home.
A gas leak is dangerous and needs to be fixed immediately. If your landlord is refusing to help, there is a possibility of a claim.
Faulty Heating System
Having hot water and heat in your home is a legal requirement. If your heating system or boiler is faulty and your landlord is refusing to fix it, then you may have grounds to claim compensation.
Other Housing Concerns
Issues such as rotting doors or window frames, broken fences, loose tiling or faulty brickwork can all be classed as housing disrepair.
Failing to deal with an infestation can be a huge discomfort and potential health risk.
How Much Notice Does My Landlord Need?
Your landlord will need to be notified as soon as you discover your disrepair, otherwise, you will not be able to claim.
You must notify your landlord either via written communication such as email, text message, letter, or verbally in person. Although we advise keeping evidence of your interaction twenty days before filing a housing disrepair claim.
How Much Can I Claim?
Every housing disrepair claim will vary depending on the severity. It cannot be determined without review but the damages you can claim for are detailed below.
If your property has been damaged by mould or leaks, you will be able to claim back the cost of repairs or replacing any damaged items.
These might include broken TVs, ruined bedding, clothes, carpets, and furniture.
Personal Injury or Suffering
Severe housing disrepair can cause a number of critical health conditions, including:
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Depression and Anxiety
Pain and Distress Caused by the Disrepair
You do not need to have specifically suffered an injury to claim compensation.
You can receive compensation if the disrepair has caused you inconvenience such as not being able to use the bathroom or kitchen facilities.
How Do You Make A Claim For Housing Disrepair?
Fill Out An Enquiry Form
Carry Out Repairs And Receive Compensation
Simply fill out a quick and easy enquiry form to discover if you could be eligible for compensation.
There is usually a completely free, no-obligation review to determine whether you have a case.
If you are eligible, the team will then gather more evidence, such as photos of the disrepair, any letters or emails sent to the landlord, and medical reports from your doctor.
The evidence will then be presented to your landlord and compensation will be negotiated whilst also ensuring the repairs are carried out as soon as possible.
You will be notified throughout the whole process.
What Evidence Will I Need for a Housing Disrepair Claim?
In order to make a successful claim you will need to provide some of the following evidence:
A copy of your tenancy agreement
Written exchanges between you and your landlord (emails, texts, letters etc.)
Photos of the disrepair (with dates on if possible)
Receipts if you have had to replace items in the property
Any medical reports indicating your health issues
Any other beneficial documents such as reports from a surveyor or an Environmental Health Officer
How Long is The Claim Process?
Although no two claims are often the same, the length of the process is often determined by if your landlord admits liability.
In most cases, a letter from experts usually results in property repairs being completed by your landlord in a matter of months. A small number of cases do go to court, which could take between 9-12 months to obtain compensation.
What is No Win No Fee
A 'no win, no fee' agreement is sometimes referred to as a ‘conditional fee agreement’ this is an arrangement between you and your chosen Solicitor. The benefit of this is if your compensation claim is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay a contingency fee for your lawyer's services, a Termination Fee can sometimes apply.
What is a claims management company?
Money Back Helpdesk is a trading style of Lead Insight, Lead Insight is a Claims Management Company. Claims management companies are here to help consumers make claims for various products and services. We deal with the paperwork and administrative details for a cost, in the process trying to make the process of claiming as stress-free and seamless as possible.
The Solicitor will handle the whole claim for you, representing you and dealing with whatever body it is that you are making a claim against.
Our panel of Solicitors handle a variety of different claim types, from Housing Disrepair to Mis Sold Car Finance, for a fee that is either taken as a percentage of the final pay-out or a lump sum payment or sometimes both.
You do not have to use a claims management company to pursue a claim. You can always contact the organisation directly and make use of the Financial Ombudsman Scheme if dissatisfied and should the claim be one which falls into their jurisdiction.
We understand the strain housing disrepair can have on a person, that’s why we’ve explained everything in detail, to help alleviate some of the stress and help you build a better claim.