The tenant, who wishes to remain anonymous, contacted her landlord repeatedly over the course of more than a decade, requesting essential repairs. Places for People continually stated that the disrepair issues were due to the tenants’ lifestyle, and thus, not their responsibility. The bulk of the issues were reported between 2012 and 2015, though some ongoing requests dated back to 2009.
After contacting CEL for assistance, Places for People agreed to make repairs within a reasonable time frame. However, this promise was broken, and repairs were not made by the deadline. Due to the landlord’s inactivity, CEL Solicitors – acting on behalf of the client – were forced to insist once again that the repairs be made with a new deadline and further compensation for the tenant for their continued suffering. In total, Places for People breached their agreement three times before the disrepair was eventually improved. Due to these broken promises, the tenant was issued £1,160 in compensation.
The disrepair affected several rooms including three bedrooms, a living room and a bathroom, each with a combination of mould, damp, and leaks, and was estimated to cost around £4,600 to correct. Additionally, the property suffered from damaged plastering and decorative finishes as well as a lack of ventilation and heating. Water supply issues in the property were deemed to have contributed to mould and damp build-up.
Due to the damp, mould and leaks, the interior decoration of the house had to be replaced on an annual basis to keep the property pleasant enough to live in. The tenant paid out of their own pocket for this upkeep, replacing wallpaper, paintwork, and other decorative touches. They were also forced to replace ruined personal belongings which had been damaged due to the disrepair.
After waiting for her landlord to agree to (and, more importantly, to commit to) the agreed repairs, the tenant is now able to enjoy their home again.
Commenting on working with the CEL Solicitors team, the tenant said: “It was lovely working with them, they really did carry out what they intended to, and I am very happy with what was achieved. I would very much recommend them to anyone.”
CEL Solicitors’ Repairs Team leader, Gavin Spruin remarked: “It’s unacceptable to expect a tenant to live with this level of disrepair for so long, and to breach agreements to fix the issues on numerous occasions. Our client had been asking for assistance from her landlord for years before our intervention, and she had been forced to live with damp, mould, and leaks. I would encourage any tenant whose landlord has agreed to carry out repairs and reneged on that promise to come and speak to us.”
CEL Solicitors specialises in cases where council authorities and housing associations don’t meet their obligations to social housing tenants. Many housing associations appear to favour making periodic write-off payments to their tenants if it means avoiding making essential and legally required repairs to their property. The result of this means tenants continue to suffer with no visible end in sight.
For tenants, this often means living in unsuitable housing for an unacceptable length of time, or potentially paying out of their own pocket for maintenance and upkeep. At CEL Solicitors, our dedicated Repairs Team are committed to ensuring that the repairs promised by a landlord are completed, even if this means repeatedly issuing claims until this is done. We believe that everybody has the right to live in a healthy and well-maintained home.
If you’re suffering from housing disrepair, and are being ignored by your landlord, tell CEL Solicitors today. Our friendly team are on hand to offer support and guidance and to help ensure that your house becomes a home once again. Call on 0808 273 0900 or apply online and a member of our team will be in touch.