Southwark council tenant was forced to live with mould and damp for 4 years despite contacting their landlord multiple times a year.
The tenant, who lives in the Southwark council property with her daughter and preferred not to be named, informed her landlord of the disrepair for several years. Despite making up to five phone calls a year, her Southwark landlord made no attempts to help.
The mother was forced to suffer with cold temperatures and food safety issues due to the mould and damp within her kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. The damp within her bathroom was so extensive that it caused the paint to chip off the ceiling and her radiators to rust. Additional disrepair also developed over the years, such as a leak in the hallway.
The property had many issues that breached the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS), a risk assessment tool used to assess hazards to the health and safety of home occupants.
Due to the damage caused by the disrepair, the tenant was left with additional expenses which caused her a huge amount of distress. She claims that she struggled to enjoy quiet time within her own home due to the unliveable conditions.
It was only when the mother sought legal advice from CEL Solicitors that she was able to make progress with repairing her home. She was assisted by CEL Solicitors’ specialist housing disrepair team who are experienced in securing repairs for social housing tenants that struggle with their living conditions.
CEL Solicitors ordered a surveyor to visit the tenant’s property. As well as confirming additional disrepair, the report also found that the leaks were so severe that they drained into the property below. All of which could have been prevented if the Southwark Council landlord had made the repairs.
CEL Solicitors successfully secured £1,500 compensation for the tenant, as well as repairs which are to take place in March.
READ: A MyLondon article with CEL Solicitors on the subject of tenants forced to live in unsuitable housing.
Luke Chorley, a housing disrepair expert at CEL Solicitors, said: “It is all too common for tenants reports of disrepair to fall on deaf ears, leaving them feeling as though their complaints are futile. Tenants should persistently complain of the disrepair at the property to their landlord, note down information of the people they speak to and when they have spoken to them. If the landlord does not respond within 3 to 6 months, you should not be afraid to seek legal advice – CEL can help!”