Our client from North Kensington is no stranger to dealing with disrepair in his home. Currently assisted by KLS Law in his claim, he has kindly agreed to share his story to encourage others suffering from similar issues.
How long have you lived in your accomodation?
I have lived in here over 15 years and have lived in the area since 1984. I stay in this area because my Dad is disabled. It is ideal to be able to assist him as his only point of contact in London. I was homed in a tower block by the Council after a violent assault which left me vulnerable. Since moving in, I have had problem after problem.
What sort of disrepair did you face in your flat?
I decided to make my claim because my ceiling began leaking in 2018. The leaks created issues with damp and mould and my belongings were ruined as a result. I initiated legal proceedings and consequently my landlord did a ‘patch up’ job in 2019. Unfortunately, the leaks started again in 2020.
How did the disrepair make you feel?
The issues in my flat made me feel very run down. My mental health suffered. I am currently on medication as the stress of the disrepair has intensified my medical conditions. I was frustrated with my landlord and felt as though I was being ignored.
How did you address these problems?
I have always raised issues I have encountered with my landlord. From 2008 I have had floods, electrical problems, lots of different issues. I raised it by telephone and by email, I felt that when I addressed the situation they just weren’t listening, and they just didn’t care. I even spoke to my neighbours in the building, and they were feeling the same frustrations. It seemed as though my landlord wanted things done their way. It was very much a ‘like it or lump it approach’. It shouldn’t be that way.
What was the result?
There was no result and no urgency from my landlord. I can give an example. On the 31 October 2015 The accomodatiuon suffered a arson attack. My landlord was aware that the Tower lacked fire amenities such as sprinklers and fire doors. It was only when I sued them that they paid attention and put things into perspective. I believe if they were proactive, they could have notified the other Council’s in the West region. This would have had a positive impact on the Grenfell Tower disaster.
Do you feel Covid made an impact?
I do not feel as though COVID made much of an impact to my claim. I feel that the council waits for things, like the fire in 2015, to happen and then they implement change. The outcome would not have been the same unless I instructed KLS Law.
Why did you choose to instruct KLS Law?
I used a different solicitor before instructing KLS. The issues did not seem to be going anywhere. He told me that he had done all he could and advised me to ‘call it a day.’ I was not happy with this and reached out to a few different firms. I chose KLS because I felt as though they were the firm that had the best approach and were willing to fight for me.
Would you do anything differently?
On my side I did everything I felt I could.
Are you happy with the service you have received from KLS Law?
Yes, I am happy with the service I have received. My solicitor was amazing with me. They were always there to speak to if I needed advice and they are very friendly.
Do you have any advice for others facing issues of disrepair?
I would say always fight it. It is not right, and you deserve to live in a nice home. If your landlord is neglecting the issues or trying to silence you with patch up jobs, I would say escalate it to the law like I did.
Are you suffering with disrepair like our client? These are your next steps:
- Exhaust your complaints process, check your tenancy agreement, housing association websites or speak to your housing officer.
- Record the disrepair, take photos and ensure that your complaints are in writing.
- Connect with your neighbours, to share advice and experiences.
- Be prepared to escalate, don’t put up with surface repairs that do not tackle the root cause.
- Seek advice from a specialist solicitor, KLS Law offers assistance on a No Win No Fee basis.