When you move into a new home, it is exciting to know that you are going to be in a brand new environment. However, sometimes you have more guests in your home than you could expect. Unfortunately, in old properties, like those that are council houses or from the housing association, it is likely that they are going to be from the 1960’s or 1980’s. Therefore, they may have gaps, cracks or holes that could allow for pests or insects to infest the area. The last thing you need during the pandemic and the upcoming winter is the knowledge that there could be rats, insects or mice nesting in your home. These types of infestations can spread diseases, damage your furniture and can leave your house in a state of disrepair. This is when you need to look into Housing Disrepair Claims.
You should not undertake any Housing Disrepair Claims on your own. Instead you should have an experienced law firm on your side that is ready to get you the compensation and repairs that you deserve. Gowing Law Solicitors is here to help. Find out more by calling us on 0800 041 8350 or by visiting our website below:
What do I need to know about Housing Disrepair Claims?
Before we get into the topics of house infestations, let’s take a second to discuss housing disrepair claims in general. The main purpose of a Housing Disrepair Claims are to protect you against destruction inside of your accommodation. You can make a Housing Disrepair Claim if your landlord is acting negligently and is refusing to help you by having the damages fixed. As you live in a council house or property from the housing association, you are responsible to keep your house neat, tidy and liveable. However, your landlord is responsible for much more.
Take a look below to see what your landlord is responsible for:
When you notice any type of housing disrepair, it’s important that you let your landlord know as quickly as possible about the damages. This should be through electronic and written correspondence. Your landlord will then have a month’s notice to get the disrepairs sorted as quickly as possible. They may come to your house to see the damages for yourself before organizing the repair work. If this happens then you will not need to make a Housing Disrepair Claim. You should only make a claim if your landlord refuses to help with the damages in your home.
How could my landlord be guilty of negligence?
When you move into a property, you enter into a contract with your landlord. Under this contract, your landlord is legally responsible for the upkeep of your home. If you end up getting hurt due to the state of your home, they will have to pay for your damages. This is because they have failed to keep up their “duty of care.” Therefore, you should be compensated for your damages. There are many ways your landlord could act negligently if your property does fall into a state of disrepair.
Some of the most common acts of landlord negligence include:
- Ignoring your requests for help
- Becoming aggressive when you ask for help
- Trying to fix your repairs but they end up becoming worse
- Asking you to fund the disrepairs yourself
If your landlord refuses to help you get the disrepairs fixed within around a month, or your repairs end up getting worse and start to affect your health, belongings and daily life, that means that it is time to look into housing disrepair claims. Your solicitor will then advise you on how to proceed with your claim and how much compensation you could be owed.
Is my landlord responsible for pests in my home?
There are a range of creatures that can infest your home, including bugs, rats and mice. If you have noticed that there are pests in your home, you may be wondering if your landlord will be responsible for ensuring that they are “evicted” from your residence.
Your landlord will be responsible for sorting out an infestation if:
- A tenancy agreement says that your landlord is responsible for any infestations- For instance, it says they have to keep your home in a “habitable” state.
- The landlord caused the infestation through their lack of repair work to the house
Although things may be a little different if you own the property yourself, if you live in a council house, your landlord has a responsibility to ensure that you are living in a safe environment. Therefore, if pest infestation could entail you getting ill or sick, that means they have to take care of the issue. If they do not do this, they are breaking their “duty of care.” Therefore, they are responsible for paying your damages through compensation.
What sort of pests can cause Housing Disrepairs?
Having pests in your home could cause the spread of disease and infection. Not only could they infect the food you have in the house, but they may end up destroying furniture and belongings. You could potentially be blamed for any destroyed furniture in the household that was already there when you moved in. Your landlord has a responsibility to keep you safe when you move into the property. If they already knew that it was infested with pets, they are liable for any damages that you have experienced, especially if you end up getting sick.
Some of the most common pests you may experience in a council home are:
Any vermin or infestations within your home could result in property damage, illness and infection. Some infestations may be more dangerous than others. For instance, if you have mites or bedbugs, you could be bitten or stung if there is a wasp nest that has not been taken away. If you are allergic to any type of rodents or bugs, you may find that their droppings or fur causes you to have a reaction. For instance, if you have asthma or breathing issues, you may have to go to the doctor to be prescribed stronger medication.
There is a high possibility that a pest infestation can cause damage to your belongings. Not only can they lay eggs in fabric, but rats and mice can bite through clothing and wooden items and hide in padded belongings, such as sofas and chairs. They can even chew through wires and cables and potentially cause fires within your home.
If you notice any droppings in your house, or ultimately see the pests for yourself, you will need to inform your landlord as quickly as possible. They should assist with hiring pest control to make sure your house is free of vermin. Keep in mind that your home may have to be fumigated to make sure the pests do not come back to your house. That means you may have to find alternative accommodation until your house is safe to live in again.
How could pests get into my household?
When you live in an old house that was created in the 1960’s or 1980’s, it’s likely that there are going to be holes or cracks in the structure that could allow for rats and bugs to enter into the property. If you feel a breeze coming from an area in your home, or you have food exposed near these cracks in your home, it is more likely that you are going experience some sort of infestation in your property.
If you do experience damages due to burrowing vermin, it is likely that they could affect the following materials:
- Electric Wiring
- Gas Pipes
Keep in mind that If the structure or materials have been affected by water damages, have holes or structural problems, this will make it more likely that vermin or pests will be able to enter your residence. If you notice these damages, contact your landlord immediately. There may be time for you to have the disrepairs sorted before an infestation occurs in your home. You may also want to set up traps and make a temporary blocking that can stop insects and rodents from getting in. That way you can keep your house safe until a pest controller comes to sort out your damages.
Was I responsible for my infestation?
Housing disrepair claims are there to protect you if your house has extreme damages that have had a negative impact on your life. However, if you are the one that is responsible for the infestation in your home, you may find that you are not eligible for compensation. You are responsible for keeping your house clean and tidy. Therefore, if you let it become dirty, allowed mould to grow or had piles of trash around the house, it is likely that you were responsible for the infestation in your home. In this case, your landlord will not be responsible for paying you compensation for the damages. Instead, you may be asked to pay to have the problems fixed. This includes the fees of any pest control that needs to enter your residence.
What sort of damages could an infestation cause?
Naturally, when you think about housing disrepair claims, infestations and vermin-control, you naturally think about the damages that can happen to the house. Now, when you make a housing disrepair claim, you do need to consider the damages in your home. They are going to make up the foundation of your claim. However, you may also suffer from additional damages that could entitle you to compensation. This includes emotional and financial damages. You may have suffered from stress or psychological issues because of the state of your home. You could claim back the costs of these damages, especially if you have suffered from mental trauma. An infestation could cause anxiety and phobias. It can also make your daily routine inconvenienced because the infestation has forced you to avoid certain areas of your home.
You could also experience personal injuries due to infestation that require trips to the hospital to have them sorted. It may take a few weeks to recover from these injuries or even longer!
Overall, the most common ways that you could be eligible to make housing disrepair claims include:
These categories can apply to an infestation disrepair. You can potentially claim for more than one of these categories. So, for instance, let’s say you had an infestation of rats in your home. They had nested in the kitchen and so it became impossible to use your kitchen without encountering them. This would be an inconvenience to your daily schedule. In the kitchen, you had a number of dish towels and rugs. The rodents bit through these pieces of fabric and created damages. This is classified as damages to belongings. The rats created droppings that spread bacteria around your food. You ended up with food poisoning due to the food being contaminated.
It’s important that you let your solicitor know the extent to which you have suffered. The more damages you have experienced alongside your initial housing disrepair, the higher your compensation is going to be.
How long will it take to make a Housing Disrepair Claim?
The amount of time needed to sort out your Housing Disrepair Claim will depend on the complexity of your case. For instance, it will take longer due to the pandemic and if your landlord is refusing to co-operate with you. Be patient with your solicitor. They will always do their best to ensure that you are kept updated about the status of your claim. This includes letting you know about any potential delays or problems your solicitor may encounter along the way. Feel free to contact them at any time if you have any questions for them about your housing disrepair claim. Your solicitor is there to help!
Gowing Law Solicitors can help with Housing Disrepair Claims
Are you ready to get started with your Housing Disrepair Claim? Gowing Law Solicitors can help! We are determined to help you get your pest problem under control. All you need to do is get in contact with our law firm. We can offer you free advice and consultations to get you started. If you are happy to move forward with your claim, we can offer our services on a “no win-no fee” basis. That means you will never need to pay any hidden fees. You will only have to pay our solicitors if we win your case for you. Therefore, you will always come out on top!
Find out how we can help you with your claim by calling 0800 041 8350, emailing email@example.com or by using our claim’s checker. One of our specialists will then be in touch to answer all of your questions.
Learn more about Housing Disrepair Claims
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