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What is housing disrepair?

Housing disrepair occurs when a place of residence falls into a state of disrepair, unfit for living.

Whether your property is managed by a Private Landlord, a Housing Association or the Local Authority, they all have the same obligations and responsibilities over your home.

Housing disrepair law was recently enhanced through new legislation, The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, the Government has reinforced this duty. This Legislation confirms the property must be fit for you to live in at the commencement of your tenancy and must remain so throughout the duration of your tenancy.

If your Landlord has allowed your home to deteriorate, and you have made them aware of the issues you are having, the court will order your Landlord to rectify this.

The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) assists judges in deciding whether your Landlord has breached their contract with you and will take into account particular issues.

Housing Disrepair Issues

The most common housing disrepair issues in the UK include:

  • Water damage from leaks
  • Damp/mould
  • Broken electrical appliances
  • No hot water or heating
  • Pest infestation
  • Broken doors or windows

Your landlord is responsible for resolving and preventing the above issues, which can significantly impact your health and wellbeing over long periods of time.

Disrepair claims by tenants are a big and daunting step to take. We understand you are in a vulnerable situation and you are worried about losing your home. Many tenants fear what will happen if they complain. Unfortunately, some landlords choose to deal with these problems by issuing a Section 21 eviction of their tenants.

At KLS Law, we completely understand these concerns and manage your claim professionally. We provide legal advice with no obligation and in the strictest confidence.

It is important to seek legal advice because many tenants are simply unaware of their legal rights and this often leads to the Landlord being able to avoid their obligations. For example, if you have an open claim for housing disrepair that is in the process of being pursued, you cannot legally be evicted under Section 21.

The process for pursuing a claim starts with requesting the necessary repairs are implemented by your Landlord by a specific date. If this requirement is not met and the Landlord fails to take action, we then take the claim further by going to the court for an order. We will also at this stage seek compensation for legal costs and any problems you have experienced as a result of the disrepair.

Our team of housing disrepair solicitors and experts may also be able to act for you on a No Win No Fee basis; meaning that if we do not win your case, you do not have to pay towards our legal fees.

Therefore it is always worth getting in touch to find out what your prospects and options are.

Mould Specialists

Mould in rented houses in the UK is an ongoing problem and it is the responsibility of the landlord to remove mould.

If you have experienced mould in your rental property, and have communicated this to your landlord to no avail, they may be liable for any related health issues those living at the property are experiencing as a result of the mould.

Mould caused by damp can lead to problems with asthma and other illnesses.

At KLS Law, we can arrange for a mould inspection by a professional who will identify and assess any areas of concern. These expert findings can then be used to strengthen your case, should it go to trial or alternative dispute resolution.

Housing Hazards

Landlords in the UK are required to ensure their property remains fit for living, but unfortunately, this is not always achieved.

Even after a tenant has communicated a hazard (such as broken doors, windows or unsafe electrical appliances) the landlord can sometimes fail to take action.

If this sounds familiar and you have become injured as a result of a hazard in your home, we will arrange to have your premises checked by a surveyor who will assess the property for any housing hazards and risks.

Pest Infestation

Properties in disrepair can become a breeding ground for pests and may result in a rodent infestation or bed bugs.

If you suspect this has occurred and your landlord refuses to take action, you may be able to make a claim against them.

If we believe you have a case we will arrange for a property inspection, which will prove the existence of any unwanted pests or hazards to your health.

We will then arrange medical evidence and if we can prove your illness arose from the condition of your letting, we will pursue a claim for housing disrepair compensation on your behalf.

Proving your housing disrepair case

Evidence and examples can prove to the court that you do, in fact, have a housing disrepair claim. This means that the more relevant information that can be provided, the better chance the claimant has of receiving a successful and fair outcome.

1. Collect evidence

Please take photographs to show the state of the property you occupy and keep notes of your communication with the property owner, attempting to rectify issues.

2. Discuss your options

We will arrange to speak with you and if we are satisfied that there are grounds for a claim, we will manage the case on a No Win No Fee basis. If we do not win your case, you won’t pay towards our legal fees.

3. Property inspection

We will also arrange for a surveyor to inspect your premises for defects.

4. Compensation assessment

We will quantify your claim, obtaining medical evidence to support your case.

Take action with housing disrepair experts

If your property has fallen into disrepair, you are entitled to have those repairs carried out at your Landlord’s cost.

Some Landlords will agree to compensate you and rectify the premises, in which case we will have it re-inspected to ensure the work has been done correctly and that the property is now fit for habitation.

If your Landlord fails to cooperate and comply with responsibilities, we will apply to the court for an order, requiring the Landlord to repair the property to an adequate standard. We will also seek housing disrepair compensation and legal costs.

If we consider you to have a good case, we will pursue our claim on a No Win No Fee basis so if we do not win, you pay nothing towards our legal fees.

Call KLS Law on 0800 015 1470 or submit an enquiry or request a call back below, and a member of our friendly legal team will be in touch as soon as possible.

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Questions & answers

What if the Landlord tries to evict me?

Under the Protection from Eviction Act, your Landlord cannot do that without a court order and, if you are intimidated in any way, we will take immediate court action to protect you.

How long will my housing disrepair claim take?

Many property owners will act promptly to repair your dwelling when a solicitor takes action, but if you have suffered injury, the case may take a number of months to resolve.

Leading Solicitors

Housing Disrepair Claims