A Housing Disrepair can happen at any time and to any type of home owner. We understand that these type of problems can be extremely frustrating. After all, things in your home break down and you will take the necessary steps to have them fixed. But what would you do if you lived in a council house and found out that your landlord was making the appropriate fixes? Worse still, your landlord may insist that as you lived in the house during the time of the damages, you should be responsible for any repair fees. That is completely out of line, especially if you live in a council property or a property from the housing association. It is the responsibility of your landlord to finance any repairs and make sure you are living in suitable environment.
ITV has proven that there is a housing scandal going on right now. That’s why if you are currently living with Housing Disrepairs, you could be eligible for compensation if you decide to make a Housing Disrepair Claim with Gowing Law Solicitors. This blog is going to discuss some of the worst Housing Disrepair statistics in the UK right now. However, don’t forget that if you want help with your own compensation claim, Gowing Law Solicitors will be here to provide you free advice and consultations. Call us today on 0800 041 8350 or use the button below to visit our website:
Tell me more about Housing Disrepair Claims
Gowing Law does have a blog dedicated to this topic, however are happy to catch you up on the basics of Housing Disrepair Claims before we jump into the statistics. When you live in a council house or property from the housing association, the majority of the property is going to fall under the responsibility of your landlord. This includes any external or internal structures, security, mould and damp, fire safety, water, heating, sanitation and essential furniture. Occasionally, you may find that these areas of your home may breakdown or need repair. That’s why you should report these damages to your landlord.
Your landlord owes you a “duty of care”. Ultimately, this means that they are responsible for your safety when you are living in the residence. If they ignore your requests for assistance, refuse to pay for damages or demand that you pay for the repairs, this could be a sign of negligence, especially if you get hurt due to the state of disrepair. This is when you should consider making a Housing Disrepair Claim. You could be eligible for compensation if your claim falls into one of three categories:
Housing Disrepair Categories:
Your claim can fall into more than one of these categories, however, keep in mind that you will have to make your claim before you leave your residence. You must also keep on paying rent or else there is a chance that your landlord could make a counter claim in order to evict you from the residence. The best way to discern whether or not you could be owed compensation is to speak to your lawyer for more information.
With that being said, let’s jump into some of the more shocking facts about housing disrepairs. They are guaranteed to shock you about the state of council housing all over the UK. If you are in a council home that is in an extreme state of disrepair, it’s important that you speak with a lawyer as quickly as possible.
1. The English Housing Survey has shown that there are 76,814 “non-decent” properties in the UK
This study was undertaken last March by the English Housing Survey, and showed that a high amount of council owed properties were in a state of disrepair. Overall, this was a major rise in disrepairs by around 5,500 homes since 2019. Worse still, it is 6,500 more properties since the survey taken in 2018. It has been speculated that this has been due to budget cuts by the UK government and a lack of housing available for residents to safely move into quickly.
Over the last year, residents may have been forced to stay in these types of residents due to the lockdown and pandemic. This may have had an extreme effect on their mental health, due to stress and anxiety about the damages, but also personal injuries. For instance, if they were forced to live in a house full of mould or damp, there is a chance that this could cause breathing problems or enhance respiratory problems. A personal injury experienced due to the disrepairs could increase the amount of compensation that is owed from the landlord.
Take a look at the case study below for a better idea of how “non-decent” properties can affect their residents:
2. One in Seven Council Homes do not meet the National Standard
As we stated previously, all council homes provided by the housing association or rented out by landlord must adhere to strict health and safety standard. This means they have to be in decent repair, be free from any serious hazards, contain modern facilities and have workable heating and insulation. If there are consistent failures that reoccur in the property, for instance, if there is a mould problem or the electricity does not work, it is likely that the property will not be put up for rent. The same could be said if the property has a not been upgraded in a very long time, so does not contain modern necessities.
Around 1 in 7 homes are failing this national standard and yet are still on the market for people to rent as council homes. If you are forced to live in this type of home, you could be eligible for compensation. After all, you could get hurt or the state of your home could have an impact on your general quality of life. Speak to a solicitor quickly to find out more information about making a Housing Disrepair Claim.
3. Damp/ Mould issues are some of the most common problems in Council Houses
If your council house is suffering from mould problems, know that you are not alone. It is estimated that around 205,000 council estates suffer from mould in at least one of the rooms.
Mould and damp issues can cause serious respiratory problems and can make issues like Asthma and Bronchitis much, much worse. Mould can also leave a room feeling extremely damp and uncomfortable to live in. It have a very distinct smell and can ruin your wall-paper. Mould can even stain your clothes and furniture. You could make a claim for damaged belongings. Just keep in mind that they will be replaced by second-hand products that you will be expected to find.
4. 48% of people in council houses feel ignored about their Housing Disrepair issues
According to Shelter, a homelessness charity, around 48% of families and people in council housing do not feel safe in their own homes. Instead, they feel as if the disrepairs have threatened their safety. However they have no means of getting their landlord to listen to them. Unfortunately, landlords and housing associations tend to blame the tenant for any damages. Therefore, they need to pay for any damages that occur. Overall, this can make the resident feel small and worried about the damages. They may feel as if they are fully responsible for everything that has gone wrong and therefore may need to pay for it. The landlord may even be expecting the resident to pay for it.
Ultimately, this should not happen. If a housing disrepair does occur then it is the responsibility of the landlord can have it fixed. Gowing Law’s solicitors can speak to your landlord on your behalf. That way you don’t need to feel threatened or intimidated by them. Instead, you can work with your solicitor to create a settlement agreement that can be sent to them.
5. 244,000 Council Homes in the UK have at least one serious housing disrepair/ housing risk
When it comes to the safety of a council home, it’s important to understand that there are different categories of housing disrepair. Some may only be minor damages and so may not require fixing. For instance, some cracks in the paint on your wall may be inconvenient but they are not going to cause you any damage. Instead, you may just need to disguise the cracks with a painting or ask to repaint the wall. However, there are others that may require more serious repair services. These are known as category 1 risks. Some examples of these risks include faulty/exposed electrical wiring, dangerous electrical sockets, infestations, broken/leaky roofing or walls, inadequate security or extreme mould.
You should report these damages in writing to your solicitor as well as send an email. That way you can leave a trail behind you about the damages and show that you did your best to get them sorted. If your landlord refuses to acknowledge your claim, take pictures of the damages and provide evidence. That way if they still refuse to help you, you can go to a solicitor and ensure that you get your housing disrepair claim started with an experienced legal expert.
Make a Housing Disrepair Claim with Gowing Law Solicitors
Here at Gowing Law Solicitors, we understand that being the victim of a housing disrepair can leave you feeling vulnerable and scared. This is where our lawyers can step in to help you get the compensation that you deserve. Our housing disrepair specialists can provide you with free advice and consultations to get you started. If you are happy to move forward with your claim, we can work with you on a “no win- no fee” basis. That means you will always end up on top and will never have to pay any hidden fees. Instead, you will only need to pay your solicitor if they win your case for you. So, what’s stopping you from getting in touch?
Contact our Housing Disrepair solicitors today by phoning 0800 041 8350, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by using our claim’s checker. You can then let us know if you have any questions. We would be more than happy to help you understand the basics. That way you can feel confident with moving forward with your claim.
Want to read more about Housing Disrepair Claims?
Don’t forget that if you want to learn more about Housing Disrepair Claims, you can visit our blog for more information. We update it every week with brand new content. This is all about legal claims, law firm updates, seasonal events and the occasional competition/giveaway. If you want to suggest a blog topic, feel free to send it to email@example.com. You can also follow our social media for our latest updates.
We look forward to seeing you in our next blog!