Is an unresponsive or inadequate landlord making your life as a tenant miserable? Perhaps your landlord is ignoring an ongoing issue with the property, or they may have refused to fix the disrepair. It is important to understand your rights as a tenant. By law landlords must provide safe living conditions for their tenants – this means carrying out any disrepairs on a property they are renting. If landlords fail to meet these standards, you may be eligible to claim housing disrepair compensation for the discomfort you have suffered.
What is housing disrepair?
By law, your landlord must ensure that the property you are renting:
- is in good condition and a good state of repair
- doesn’t have any issues of damp and mould
- has safe electricity, gas, and water
- contains working hygiene facilities, such as toilets, basins, sinks
- is free from vermin and other pests
- has a functioning heating system
- has drains and gutters that are working correctly
- has a roof that is secure and safe
If any of the above has become an issue in your rented property, your landlord must fix the disrepair. If you have reported an issue with the property, given the property owner sufficient time to respond and have ultimately been ignored, you may be able to claim housing disrepair compensation. The landlord will then be forced to carry out any disrepairs.
What can I claim housing disrepair for?
If your property has any of the following disrepair issues, you may be eligible to claim housing disrepair compensation:
- Damp and mould
- Faulty staircases/unsafe flooring
- Dodgy electrics
- Faulty boiler/heating system
- Rot issues in the home
- Vermin infestations
The list above refers to claims you can make that directly involve the house itself. However, you can also claim for personal injury if the disrepair issues in your rented property have caused you to suffer any adverse health effects such as:
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Depression and anxiety
If you have experienced health issues as a result of your landlord’s negligence, you may be able to claim for any medical costs, medication, or aftercare bills that have amounted.
What evidence do I need for a housing disrepair claim?
For your housing disrepair claim to be successful, you will need to provide the following evidence:
- A copy of your tenancy agreement
This is the legal contract between you and your landlord that sets out the rules and states the legal terms and conditions of your tenancy.
- Evidence of correspondence between you and your landlord including any emails, texts, letters etc
You must have evidence that you have reported the disrepair issue in your property and given your landlord 21 days’ notice to fix the disrepair before filing a claim.
- Photos or videos of the disrepair
Take photos and/or videos of the disrepair to strengthen your claim. For example, document any rot, damp or mould on the property. Make sure that photos and videos display dates.
- Medical reports demonstrating any health issues
If your landlord’s negligence has caused your health (physical or mental) to suffer, keep any medical reports as evidence.
- Evidence from an external source e.g. reports from a surveyor or an Environmental Health Officer
If someone has come to the property to make a report of the disrepair, this will serve as vital evidence when it comes to making a claim.
How long does a housing disrepair claim take?
Every case is different. For some tenants, the time frame from submitting the complaint to receiving compensation might be relatively short. For others, it can take a while. It depends on the level of disrepair and whether your landlord accepts liability. However, most housing disrepair claims take around 9-12 months to settle.
How can we help?
Are you feeling frustrated with your unresponsive landlord? If so, get in touch with us here at TDP solicitors to discuss your potential claim. We can give you expert advice on how to proceed with your claim and answer any questions you may have surrounding the process. We help our clients receive the compensation they deserve and work with a “No-Win-No-Fee” agreement. That means you don’t have to pay a penny for our services unless your claim is successful. If that is the case, a small solicitor’s fee will be deducted from your award.
Call us today on 0151 242 5111 for free, confidential advice.