Housing Disrepair Claims are here to protect the residents of council houses and the housing association against damages within their homes. It is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure that a council home is habitable for residents and their families. If they do not fulfil their obligations as a landlord, they could be left liable for any damages to the property, the tenant or the tenant’s belongings. Here at Gowing Law Solicitors, we understand that dealing with any type of claim can be extremely stressful. However, if you are being forced to live in squalid conditions, this can have a severe impact on your mental and physical health, as well as your quality of life. That’s why we are determined to get you the compensation that you deserve.
Around the UK, it has been found that over 76,814 council properties have been deemed as “non-decent” by the English Housing Survey. That’s why it’s time for you to get started on your Housing Disrepair Claim. This blog is going to be used to answer some of the basic questions you may have about these type of claims. However, if you want to learn more, speak to Gowing Law Solicitors today by phoning 0800 041 8350 or by emailing email@example.com. You can also click on the button below to visit our website:
What are Housing Disrepair Claims?
If you are going to make a Housing Disrepair Claim, your home has been suffering from terrible damages that were not your fault. By living in a council home or the property of the housing association, your home is not your “own” property. You are renting it from someone else. That person is your landlord. Therefore, they are responsible for fixing any damages that may have occurred inside or around the outside of the property. If they refuse to fix it, ignore your complaints or outright claim that you should be the one to pay for the damages, you can make a Housing Disrepair Claim against them. It is their responsibility to ensure people can live in the property.
If they fail to do so, they are liable for any damages that occur. You could then claim compensation for any damages that you haven forced to endure. The extent of this compensation will depend on how severe your damages are and how long your landlord has left the problem to fester.
What is my landlord responsible for in my rented property?
Your landlord is responsible for the majority of your property if you are renting from them. This includes the structures and roofing of your house, as well as any essential furniture that was in the property to begin with, such as a toilet, oven or fridge. Some additional responsibilities of your landlord include:
- Fire safety
- Gas, Electricity, Water, Sanitation maintenance
- Damp and Mould problems
- Broken windows and doors
- Garden maintenance
- Broken flooring or exposed nails
If you notice any of these problems in your house, you should let your landlord know immediately about the type of damages your home is experiencing. Send them your complaints in writing, as well as over email. That way they can respond to them as quickly as possible. Your landlord should then visit the property to inspect the damage before sending over an engineer to have the disrepair fixed.
Do I need to pay rent if I am going to make a Housing Disrepair Claim?
Yes! You do need to keep paying rent if you are thinking about making a Housing Disrepair Claim. The council house is still rented accommodation. That means you have to pay to be in it, even if it is entirely not up to standard. We understand that this can be extremely frustrating. But if you fail to pay rent, it is likely that your landlord could make a counter claim against you. If the counter claim is approved, you could be evicted from the house you live in or go into debt to pay back rent. So, always pay your rent on time! That way your claim can go smoother.
Can I make a claim if I no longer live in the house?
Unfortunately, if you no longer live in the rented property, there is no way you could make a claim. That is because the contract is over and you are no longer under the landlord’s “duty of care”. If you feel as if you are suffering from the negligence of the landlord, it’s essential that you make your claim as quickly as possible before you move out. That way you can get the compensation that you deserve.
Am I eligible for a Housing Disrepair Claim?
There are three categories that your claim needs to fall under in order to be eligible for compensation from a Housing Disrepair Claim. These are:
Don’t forget that you don’t just have to fall into one of these categories. Instead, you could fall into several. For instance, if you had a mould and damp issue in your bedroom, which could mean that you could no longer use your bedroom. This would be an example of inconvenience. The mould then started to grow on your clothes and fabrics. This would be an example of damage to your belongings. The mould then started to affect your breathing and worsened your asthma. This is an example of a personal injury. Don’t be afraid to tell your solicitor that you have suffered from several types of damages, including:
- Physical Damages
- Emotional Damages
- Financial Damages
- Loss of Opportunity
- Technological Damages
The extent of your damages will affect the amount of compensation that you could be offered. So, make sure to be honest and let your solicitor know everything that has happened. They can give you an honest estimate about how much you could be owed and whether you are eligible at all.
What sort of evidence will I need to make Housing Disrepair Claims?
Just like a normal personal injury claim, you are going to need evidence to back up the allegations that have been made. Evidence can take many forms. This includes photographs, videos or CCTV of the damages. You can also use witness statements, financial receipts, diary entries, medical records, police reports and communication with your landlord. It may be a little difficult to collect evidence if you are currently trying to socially-distance from other people. However, as this is your home, you should be able to collect photographs at least of the damages. If you need advice on more specific types of evidence about your case, speak to your solicitor. They can help you understand what sort of evidence you are going to need to back up your case.
How much could I be owed from Housing Disrepair Claims?
This is where things can get a little complicated. Not every case is going to be awarded the same amount of compensation. The amount you receive depends on the damages you have suffered and how long the negligence has been going on for. Once you and your lawyer have established your claim, you can work on a settlement agreement. This is the amount of compensation you would be willing to accept for the damages from your landlord. Your landlord can choose whether or not they would be willing to agree to the settlement. If they refuse, this is when the case may be taken to court.
From our experience, compensation can range between £1,000 – £20,000. That’s why it’s so important for you to talk to a solicitor as quickly as possible. They can help you move forward and get the compensation that you deserve.
How long will it take to make a Housing Disrepair Claim?
You will have three years from the time the damages occurred to make a claim for your Housing Disrepairs. Your landlord is responsible for the damages and so we could advise you not to wait if you need the compensation to pay for the damages. It will take our solicitors one working day to figure out if you have a valid claim. From there, the timescale will depend on the complexity of your case. Our lawyers will keep you updated about how your claim is progressing. Feel free to get in touch to ask them questions at any time.
Gowing Law Solicitors can help you with your Housing Disrepair Claims
Here at Gowing Law Solicitors, we are determined to help as many clients as possible all over the UK. That way they can get the compensation that they deserve. Our solicitors can offer you free advice and consultations to get you started. If you are happy to progress with the help of our law firm, we can offer our services on a “no win-no fee” basis. That means there will be no hidden fees to pay and you will always come out on top.
Read more about the basics of legal claims
Gowing Law’s blog is updated every week with brand new content. Our blogs contain the answers to all of your questions. That’s why we write information about different legal claims, seasonal events and updates about our law firm. We even host the occasional competition and giveaway on our blog. If you want to suggest a blog topic for our blog, feel free to send it into firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to seeing you in our next blog.