Housing Disrepair Claims are there to protect you if your landlord refuses to help fix the damages within your home. It’s understandable that you may feel frustrated that you cannot get the repair work done in a timely manner, especially with winter right around the corner. As the weather gets colder over the next few months, it’s important that your house is well-insulated and can protect you from the wind, snow, ice and rain. Unfortunately, not all council houses or properties from the housing association are going to be as padded as you would like. In fact, some residents may find that the house suffers from damages that they cannot fix on their own. Worse still, you may end up suffering from a personal injury or have belongings that are completely damaged.
If the winter weather is causing damages to your home, or has caused essential equipment or structures to break down, it’s time for your landlord to step up and help. Even if there is another lockdown this winter, your landlord owes you a “duty of care”. Therefore, they need to step up and help. Should they fail to do so, you need to start making enquiries into housing disrepair claims.
Gowing Law Solicitors can help you with your housing disrepair claims. Find out how by calling 0800 041 8350 or by using our website below:
How could my house be damaged in the winter?
When you move into a council house or property from the housing association, it’s important to remember that it may be old. After all, the majority of current council houses were created in the 1950’s or the 1960’s. According to the most recent English Housing Survey, there are around 76,814 buildings that are in a substandard condition. The majority of these are old council houses. Unfortunately, not all of these council houses are going to have the right padding or insulation needed to keep you and your family warm at night. In fact, you may find that you have to use your heating more in order to keep warm.
During the winter, your home may experience the following damages, or cause the following problems:
As you can see, there are a fair few problems that mean that the cold could enter your house. However, the more severe problem comes from any type of hole or exposure to the outside world during the cold and rainy period. For instance, if the wall has exposed brick or wood, water, damp or ice could enter the building. If it remains wet then this could cause damp, mould or cause the external/internal structures to buckle, snap or crack under the weakening material. Worse still, if your house is warm then this could encourage pestilence to enter in order to shelter from the outside world.
Of course, these are just a few examples. It could be a lot simpler, such as a broken down boiler that leaves the house feeling unbearably cold. No matter what type of disrepair your house suffers from, you need to report it to your landlord in order to get it fixed.
Why is my Landlord responsible for fixing the disrepairs?
It’s important to understand that your landlord is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of your house. You live in it and have a responsibility to keep it clean and tidy – however, your landlord needs to make sure that it is in a habitable state to be lived in. That means there can’t be anything in your home that could cause a personal injury or an inconvenience. Some examples of what they are responsible for include:
It’s important that you understand that your landlord does need enough notice to get the damages fixed. They are responsible for getting it sorted because they owe you a “duty of care.” You live in a residence that is owned by them. Therefore, when you sign the contract saying you will pay rent to stay in their accommodation, they have a legal duty to keep you safe. If they fail to adhere to this duty of care then they could be held guilty of negligence. Negligence could occur if your landlord:
- Ignores your requests for help
- Becomes aggressive when asked for help
- Causes more damage by trying to fix it themselves
- Demands that you pay for the damages
- Demands that you fix the damages yourself
Whilst you do need to give your landlord time to get the disrepairs sorted out, if they fail to help you within a month, it’s time for you to start looking into Housing Disrepair Claims. This is where Gowing Law Solicitors can step in to help you understand whether or not you could be eligible for compensation.
How to insulate my home whilst waiting for the repairs?
As you are waiting for your repairs to take place, there may be ways that you could help keep your house insulated and to reduce the effects of the disrepair. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to do all the repairs suggested. It will entirely depend on the extent of control you have over your property without making the damages worse.
- Cover over any holes or cracks with a curtain to stop the release of heat
- If there are gaps in the windows, use tape to cover the exposure
- Fit carpets around the floor to reduce the loss of heat
- Keep an eye on holes if they are wet and try to keep the exposure clean and dry
- Use mould and damp spray around any growing patches of exposure
- Cover any chimney openings to avoid drafts
- Keep curtains closed to ensure that heat is trapped in your home
Of course, there is a chance that your landlord may be willing to do more extensive work on your home, including loft insulation, adding double glazing to your windows or adding a better insulation to your walls. However, we understand that you may be fully focused on the problems at hand. If your landlord refuses to help, it’s time for you to look into Housing Disrepair Claims.
How do I know if I am eligible to make a Housing Disrepair Claim?
No matter what month it is, you should be eligible to make a housing disrepair claim if your home has suffered from housing damages. These housing damages include anything around the house that could be seriously affecting your life or has caused you to suffer a personal injury from an accident. That way you can prove that you experienced negligence at the hands of your landlord.
There are three categories that your housing disrepair could fall into. If it fits into one of these categories then you could be eligible for compensation. These categories are:
There is a chance that you could fulfil all three categories and be owed compensation for each damage. For instance, let’s say that your home has a mould problem. Already, you would fall into inconvenience because the mould may have forced you to avoid certain areas of your home. That entails that you won’t be able to use certain equipment or essential items in your home if the mould is that bad. If you suffer from asthma, there is a chance that the mould and damp could make it worse. Should your breathing condition worsen, this could be classified as a personal injury claim. The mould may spread to your belongings, including clothing and furniture covered in fabric. This could cause damages to your property and you may need to have these items replaced.
If you believe that you fall into all damages, you should alert your solicitor as quickly as possible. They can help you collect evidence to back up your claim and speak to your landlord on your behalf to move your case forward. Your lawyer will always keep you involved and alert you if there are any new updates.
What sort of evidence can I use for my Housing Disrepair Claim?
If you are making a case for any disrepairs caused by winter weather, it’s important that you have evidence back up your damages. Your house may have suffered due to the damp, cold or heat. Therefore, the external structures or walls may have cracks, mould or holes in it. You may also be suffering from heater issues and have to prove that it is leaking or ultimately not working. To do this, you will need evidence to back up your case.
Evidence should be scanned and copied in order to ensure that you, your solicitor and landlord have copies of it. Your evidence can include:
- Witness Statements
- Medical Records
- Police Records
- Diary Entries
- Damaged Belongings
You should send your copy to solicitor to ensure that your claim can move forward smoothly. They can take your evidence and use it to prove you are experiencing damages to your landlord. That way, when they sit down to sort out the settlement agreement, they can prove that their negligence requires compensation for their actions.
How much compensation will I receive from a Housing Disrepair Claim?
Like any other legal claim, the amount of compensation that you could claim depends on the severity of your case. The worse your damages, the more likely it is that you will receive a higher amount of compensation. This includes any additional damages, such as emotional and financial damages, as well as losses of opportunity.
From our own experience, you could be owed up to £20,000 in rebates! To get an accurate estimate of how much you could be owed, speak to your solicitor about your settlement agreement. They can calculate how much you could be owed through your damages and then take that figure to your landlord. Your landlord will then decide whether or not they will accept the settlement. If they refuse then your case may have to go to court. However, this is unlikely because most landlords will be happy to work with your solicitor to get the damages sorted out.
How long will it take to make a Housing Disrepair Claim?
The amount of time it takes to have your claim sorted by your solicitor will depend on the complexity of your case. For instance, if your landlord refuses to get involved in the settlement agreement or fix your damages, the claim may take longer to get sorted. Your solicitor can help you plot out a potential timeline to help you understand how long it will take to claim your compensation. Speak to your solicitor today to find out how they can help you with your case.
Gowing Law Solicitors can help with Housing Disrepair Claims
Here at Gowing Law Solicitors, we are ready to help you understand how much you could be owed as compensation. You deserve to live in comfort and to have the housing disrepairs sorted in your home. This is where Gowing Law Solicitors can step in to help you with your claim. Our lawyers can provide you free advice and consultations to get you started. If you are happy to move forward, we can work with you on a “no win-no fee” basis. That means you will never have to pay any hidden fees. Instead, you will always come out on top. So, get started with your claim today!
Contact Gowing Law Solicitors today by calling 0800 041 8350, emailing email@example.com or by using our claim’s checker. One of our specialists will then be in contact to answer any additional questions you may have about housing disrepair claims.
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