When you move into a council property or a home from the housing association, it is important that the property is safe for you and your family to live in. You may feel excited at the prospect that you are going to move into a new residence, however it is still important that you inspect the property before you move in. That way you can make note of any damages that occur and request that the landlord has them fixed as quickly as possible. As winter approaches, it is a crucial time to get any damages fixed. However, you may be asking yourself about whether or not your landlord is solely to blame for the disrepairs. They need to follow a strict code of conduct that ensures your safety whilst you are under contract. If they fail to do this, it’s time to get started on your Housing Disrepair Claim.
We know you may be feeling a bit concerned about Covid-19 due to the upcoming “uncertain winter”, that’s why the last thing on your mind should be housing disrepairs in your property. Gowing Law Solicitors are ready to help you if you are interested in making a Housing Disrepair Claim. We can provide solid advice about how to move forward. All you have to do is call 0800 041 8350 or visit our website below:
Who is responsible for my Housing Disrepairs
The first thing you need to understand about making a Housing Disrepair Claim is that they are there to hold your landlord responsible for any damages that occur in your property that they fail to fix. Naturally, your first source of contact for any disrepairs will be your landlord. They are the person who signed the contract with you and own the property. However, they may not be the only person who you can make a Housing Disrepair Claim against to get your damages and compensation sorted.
Most of the time, your landlord will be liable for the damages in your property, however, there are times when the responsibility will fall on a different party that maintains the upkeep of your house. For instance, there may be a leasing agency or property management firm that act in placement of a landlord. Your council home or housing association property may even be rented out by your local council or government. Therefore, they will need to handle any complaints that you have to make. You can make a claim against any third-party that is responsible for the upkeep of your home. They will be responsible for the following:
As you can see, your landlord, or any third-parties involved with your property, do have a lot of responsibility when it comes the upkeep of your home. This includes exterior and interior structures, balconies or gardens. If there is a problem then you need to alert your landlord, or the person in charge of your home, as quickly as possible. That way the problem can be sorted before it gets any worse. If they fail to help, you should start looking into a Housing Disrepair Claim.
What should I do if my house is suffering from a disrepair?
Housing Disrepairs in council homes and properties from the housing association are extremely common. After all, most of this type of accommodation were created in the 1960’s or 1980’s, therefore they can suffer due to wear and tear over time. It makes sense that after a while it will need some repair work sorted out. That way it can be kept up to scratch.
The first thing you should do in any situation is to report the disrepair to your landlord or responsible party. This should be through electronic communication, such as a phone call or email, but it should also be through written correspondence, like a letter. That way you will have physical evidence to prove that you alerted your landlord when there was a problem. You will then need to give your landlord enough time to get the disrepair sorted, in other words you will need to give them “notice”. This includes allowing them to come to your house to see the disrepair for themselves.
In the meantime, it’s important that you collect evidence to prove that your disrepair has happened. You can use this evidence if your landlord fails to help you with your damages.
Evidence may include:
Of course, if you suffered from additional damages due to the disrepairs, make sure to keep evidence about them as well. For instance, if the disrepairs have caused your mental health to worsen then you may have needed to speak to the doctor about medication. This could mean that you could also make a claim for emotional damages. You could also keep receipts if the disrepairs have forced you to spend money to try and better the situation, or at least prevent it from getting any worse. Your landlord may have to pay for these additional damages through compensation. So, make sure to keep as much evidence as possible!
Should the responsible party, or your landlord not sort out the damages in a reasonable time, that’s when you need to start thinking about making a Housing Disrepair Claim with an experienced solicitor. With that said, if you did not want to read all that to learn how to alert your landlord to the disrepairs in your home, just follow these three simple steps:
What should I do if my landlord or property manager refuses to help?
Unfortunately, not all landlords are going to take your claim seriously. In most cases, your landlord will try to help get your disrepairs sorted out. However, there is a chance that your landlord could act negligently. Legally, your landlord or the party responsible for your house needs to keep your home in a state of repair. That way it is habitable for you and your family to live in. They are under a contract. This contains a strict set of landlord guidelines that will instruct them on how to keep the house liveable. This includes sorting out any potential disrepairs. However, there are times when they may completely refuse to help with your home’s repair work. If this happens to you then your landlord is acting negligently. It is their responsibility to get the disrepairs sorted.
Here are some examples of landlord negligence that you should keep an eye out for:
- You are asked to pay for the disrepairs yourself
- Your landlord ignored your requests for help
- The disrepairs were made worse by your landlord
- Your landlord was aggressive to you when you asked for help
Be aware that your landlord may want to get the disrepair sorted as cheaply as possible. This could include them fixing the damages themselves. This could lead to dangerous wiring being exposed that could result in you suffering from a personal injury. If you notice any of the aforementioned acts of negligence, it’s crucial that you speak to a housing disrepair claims lawyer as quickly as possible. They can help get your case started and guide you in the right direction to ensure your disrepairs are fixed and that you receive compensation for your damages.
Can I make a claim if I was responsible for the damages?
Unfortunately, if you are thinking about making a Housing Disrepair Claim, you are only eligible for compensation if you were not responsible for the disrepairs in my home. This is due to the fact that you are suffering from damages that could worsen your quality of life or result in a personal injury. You were not to blame for the disrepairs. Instead, they happened due to your landlord’s negligence. That means they have failed in their “duty of care” and are putting you at risk. Therefore, they need to be the ones to pay for the disrepairs.
It’s likely that you will be asked to contribute or pay entirely for the disrepairs if you were the one who caused them. If you feel unsure about whether or not you were responsible for your housing disrepairs, you can speak to your solicitor to discuss a claim. They can help you understand your eligibility and let you know whether or not it is worth moving forward with your case.
How could I be eligible to make a Housing Disrepair Claim?
To be eligible for either compensation or repair work completed on your home, your claim has to fall into at least one of these three categories. It also has to have caused damages to your home. These disrepairs should require work to have it fixed. You also need to be able to prove that you were not responsible for the damages in your property.
The three categories of eligibility are:
As you can see, once you have established what disrepairs your home has suffered from, these categories will help you determine what type of damages you could claim for. Of course, there is a chance you could claim for more than one of these categories. Let’s say your home is suffering from the most common type of housing disrepair, mould and damp. If it has spread throughout your bedroom, you may find that it is impossible for you to sleep in that room anymore. This is inconvenience. Eventually, the mould spreads to your clothes and causes it to become unwearable. This is known as damage to belongings. If you suffer from asthma, there is a chance that the mould and damp could make your asthma worse. This may lead you to go to hospital to receive medical treatment for your worsening condition. This is an example of a personal injury.
It is important that you let your solicitor know exactly what type of damages you have suffered from. That way they can help you calculate how much compensation you could be owed. You can make your claim against your landlord, property manager, local government or leasing agency. The amount you receive will be determined by the extent of all of your damages.
How much compensation will I receive for my housing disrepair?
Of course, your main focus is going to be on getting the disrepairs in your home sorted. However you could also claim compensation for any personal injuries that you have suffered from. The first thing that you need to know is that every compensation claim is different. There is no fixed amount when it comes to the pay-out that you could receive. However, you could be owed more compensation if your damages are more severe. For instance, if your home has suffered from weak structures and the structure fell on you, this could cause a personal injury. Therefore, you could receive a higher pay-out than someone who has a broken window in their home.
For an estimate of how much you could be owed in compensation, you should speak to your solicitor for more information. They can let you know how much you could potentially be owed. That way you can decide on whether or not you want to move forward with your claim. Ultimately, the choice is up to you about what you want to do!
Are you ready to start your Housing Disrepair Claim?
Here at Gowing Law Solicitors, we are determined to get you the repairs and compensation that you deserve for your Housing Disrepair Claim. We understand that these types of claims can be extremely stressful. That’s why our team of experienced lawyers will always be there to support you through this difficult time. They can offer free advice and consultations to get you started. If you are happy to move forward with your claim, they can work with you on a “no win-no fee” basis. That means you will always come out on top as you will never have to pay any hidden fees. Instead, you will only have to pay your solicitor if they win your case for you.
Find out more about how we can help with your housing disrepair claim by contacting Gowing Law Solicitors today! Call 0800 041 8350, email firstname.lastname@example.org or use our claim’s checker to get started. One of our specialists will then be in touch to discuss your claim further. They can also answer any additional questions you may have.
Learn more about making a Housing Disrepair Claim
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