Housing Disrepair Info
Is the Council not Repairing your house?
If you are a Council tenant or a Housing Association Tenant and they have ignored repairs to your house, we can help!
The Council and any Housing Association has a legal obligation to you as a Landlord under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. If they fail to repair you home within a reasonable time then you have the right to get help from Solicitors like us and take legal action.
You will be able to claim compensation and force them to perform the necessary repairs. If the disrepair has caused you health problems then you will also be able to claim compensation for the health issues.
Can I claim back rent for disrepair to my house?
The short answer is yes. You get this back as a form of compensation. If your rented house or flat that was in disrepair then you were probably not able to enjoy your home to the full extent that you paid for. Therefore, depending on how long the disrepair is going on and how severe it is you can get some of your rent back.
However, your landlord will not pay you willingly and you may need to get solicitors involved. Even if some rent if offered you may be getting underpaid as calculating the level of compensation you should get is complicated and expert evidence is needed.
What can I do if my Landlord will not repair my house?
Are your complaints being ignored by your Landlord, Housing Association or the Council?
If your Landlord is not doing the repairs that your property needs then you may have a claim. It can be frustrating if your Landlord is just not answering your requests and all your calls are being ignored it may feel that your Landlord has refused to repair your property. Just give us a call if your Landlord wont repair your property and we can get you started with a claim.
Can I claim Compensation if my Landlord is not repairing my house?
If you STILL LIVE IN THE PROPERTY and you have REPORTED your repair to your local council or housing association landlord which still hasn’t been fixed after 3 MONTHS, you can claim compensation and a refund of rent*. We operate on a NO WIN NO FEE basis.
Will it cost me money if I make a claim
No, We work on a No Win No Fee Basis
Do I have to live in England to make a claim?
We help clients nationally but we can only represent you if you live in in England or Wales. We are based in Manchester but we help tenants all around the England, from London to Leeds, Liverpool or Birmingham. We work remotely and are always available for a chat. Call us on 0161 549 1890 for more free advice!
What is housing disrepair?
n summary, it puts an obligation on a landlord to keep in repair & proper working order:
- The structure and exterior of the dwelling house, including drains gutters and external pipes
- The installations of the dwelling-house that supply water, gas, electricity and sanitation (which includes basins, sinks, bath and sanitary fittings)
Housing disrepair is bound in section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, and implied into all tenancies of less than seven years.
The landlord is obliged to keep ‘the installations in the dwelling-house’ in repair and working order. This includes installations for the supply of water, gas, electricity, sanitation, heating and hot water. Water or gas pipes, electrical wiring, water tanks, boilers, radiators and other space heating. Where an installation is centralised, e.g. in high rise block, then tenants with tenancies entered into after 15 January 1989 are protected with repairing obligations covering centralised systems. The same is not true of those prior to this date.
Can I Claim for Disrepair to the structure or exterior of my house?
Yes, you can!
Examples of structure or exterior include:
- Floor joists are part of the structure
- A partition between two dwellings is a part of the structure
- The roof and any skylights are part of the structure
- The walls and any render are part of the structure.
- External joinery will usually be part of the structure and failure to paint to protect against rot is a failure to keep in repair
- Windows are part of the structure and exterior (usually).
- In relation to a house, the path and primary means of access, including steps are part of the exterior
- Bannisters and staircases are part of the structure
- An extractor fan is part of the structure
It must be shown that there is disrepair to these elements. There is much case law around this that requires careful consideration on a case by case basis. For example it is now clear that plaster is part of the structure.
However, in our opinion, plaster requires a balanced assessment as hairline or decorative cracking isn’t section 11. If plaster is contaminated by foul water, spalling or in a significant state of disrepair, it is a section 11 matter.
A more recent case found that saturated plaster caused by condensation, when containing hygroscopic salts is considered damaged beyond recovery.
How to Report my Landlord?
Is your Landlord ignoring you and not repairing your property?
Sometimes, this may be a health risk if your house is in disrepair. You may have rising damp and mold in your house which can cause certain illnesses or make your existing illness worse, such as asthma and eczema.
This can fall under the Environmental Protection Act and a complaint can be made to your council. They can potentially bring a criminal action against your landlord but you will need to speak to a solicitor to help you get compensation.
The council is usually very busy so it may take a long time for them to take any kind of action.
If your council is the landlord you can still complain but it is always best to speak to a solicitor especially when it is free.
Who do I report my Landlord to?
You can report your landlord to:
- Your Local Council – they can write to your landlord to ask them to rectify the issue. If they don’t then they cant start taking criminal action if there is certain type of disrepair. The downside to this is that the council is usually very busy so it may take a long time for your complaint to be dealt with. This will also not provide you with compensation.
- Your MP – You can complain to your MP and they can write a strong letter to your landlord but they can not take any legal action on your behalf or get you compensation.
- Housing Ombudsman – This is a better option if you have a social landlord such as a local council or housing association. Private landlords can only be dealt with on a voluntary basis.
- Solicitor – This is usually your best option if your complaint have gone unheard. Our service is on a no win no fee basis and we will force your landlord to repair your property and gets you compensation. We act quickly, make you a priority and get you results.
Call us on 0161 549 1890 for more free advice!
Can You Withhold Rent for Damp, Mould or Any Disrepair?
Although you must continue to pay your rent, you may, depending on your tenancy agreement, pay for the repairs and deduct this from your rent.
However, your landlord can challenge this and take legal action which can be very costly. It is always best to have a solicitor on your side before doing something like this.
Can I get compensation for Damp and Mould in my house?
You could potentially be entitled to get compensation for damp and mould in your home if your landlord has failed to fix the problem.
You can get compensation for the loss of enjoyment your flat or house. The more rooms that are affected means that the problem is severe so you would be entitled to more compensation. Sometimes the damp and mould will ruin your personal belongings such as your rug, wallpaper, clothes or bedding. You can claim for this too and if you have missed out on work and can prove this then there is a potential claim for loss of earnings too.
Your compensation will depend on the severity, extent and length of the problem. The amount of rent you pay will also be taken into consideration. So if you are in arrears this could reduce any compensation you get as you are still obligated to pay your rent even if it is in disrepair.
Use our housing disrepair compensation calculator to give you a rough guide of how much you should be entitled to. This is not only a compensation calculator for mould but also for other disrepair problems you may have.
How much compensation is my housing disrepair claim worth?
The amount of compensation awarded for damp/mould or infestation is fact specific i.e., it is determined on a case-by-case basis, assessing the tenant’s individual circumstances. The extent of the disrepair will be taken into consideration, measured on a scale of mild, moderate to severe.
To assess your compensation we look at the number of rooms impacted by the disrepair and how much of each room is unable to be used, weighed against the total number of rooms in the property e.g., 4 rooms out of use in a 6-room property due to excessive mould and damp will be classed as severe.
The number of months spent in disrepair also play a large role in the compensation awarded i.e., the length of time you as a tenant have been complaining to the landlord regarding the mould, damp infestation or just general disrepair and your complaints have gone unheard.
We will look at all of the above and how much rent you pay to come of for a figure to compensate you for your loss of enjoyment of your property. Additional compensation may be awarded to instances where a your personal items have been destroyed due to mould/damp or an infestation, in which case a special damages claim may be brought to recover the costs of these items.
How long should I wait for my Landlord to fix my problem
The short answer is a reasonable time. This is usually about two months.
Every case is obviously different but if your landlord has not fixed or even attempted to fix your house or flat then you should seek legal help. We can only help you if you have complained to your landlord 2 months ago and they have not started repairs.
What if my landlord doesn’t fix things?
If you have complained to your landlord and they have kept you waiting for months then your can take legal action to force them to fix the disrepair around your house. Your landlord may be ignoring you so knowing where you stand is very important.
Leaving tenants in a damp and mouldy house with rising damp is a serious health concern. You should speak to a solicitor and take action now. You could also be entitled to compensation.
How long will my claim take?
This will depend on your case as everyone’s is different. It could take anywhere from 2 – 6 months for a straightforward case and over 12 months if we have to take your case to the courts,