What is the Housing Disrepair Protocol?
The housing disrepair protocol refers to the process that should be followed (in England and Wales) if a household is to bring a claim against their landlord for not fixing repairs and not carrying out essential maintenance work on their home. The aim of this protocol is to try and resolve these issues as early as possible, avoiding a court case if at all possible.
How the Housing Disrepair Claims Procedure Works
The standard housing disrepair protocol usually includes (but is not limited to):
- An Early Notification Letter (ENL) – to the landlord notifying that a claim is being made
- A letter of claim – which gives full details to the landlord of the defects included in the claim, details of the damages being claimed for, any outstanding defects and any other relevant paperwork and information
- The landlord’s response – usually required within 20 working days of the letter of claim being received
- Expert inspections – either a joint independent expert, or an inspection at the same time by an expert representing each party is arranged to review the house defects and the impact of this on the claimant(s)
- Admission or denial of liability by the landlord – within 20 working days of the expert’s report
- Resolution and costs, or further legal action if the disrepair claim is disputed and remains unresolved.
At CEL Solicitors, we can advise you on all of the steps you need to take when making a claim, and when; handling the paperwork and communications between you and the landlord.
Will I Have to go to Court for a Housing Disrepair Claim?
Taking a housing disrepair claim to court is rare. Whenever possible, we aim to resolve the issues at an earlier stage, so that tenants get the essential repairs needed and, if appropriate, also receive compensation for any health issues and distress that the disrepair problems caused.