Watch out for summer disrepair issues in your home

The reality is that things can go wrong in our homes at any time of the year; we often think that things are worse in the winter; if your boiler breaks down, for example; but there are also some types of disrepair that are more likely to occur during the warmer months too.

If you rent your home, some of these things will be down to your landlord to fix, and the sooner you let them know, the sooner they can make things right with your property and you can get back to enjoying the warmer weather rather than worrying about your home. If you’re not sure what is your responsibility and what is your landlord’s, use our handy housing disrepair responsibility tool. View the tips below on common summer home maintenance so you know what to look out for.

Vegetation growth

With the combination of increased rainfall and sunshine that usually accompany late spring and early summer, these are prime conditions for plants to grow. What may be good for your garden isn’t necessarily good for the rest of the property though. If you have guttering or drainage pipes that contain weeds or other vegetation, this can become a real problem if the plants are allowed to grow unchecked.

Vegetation can cause blockages which mean that next time there is a significant amount of rainfall, the rainwater can’t escape down the drainpipes, and instead overflows onto the walls instead, which can result in damp, as the moisture seeps through the wall from the outside to the inside.

If you notice weeds or plants growing in your gutters, you should make sure that your landlord is made aware as soon as possible, so the problem can be dealt with before it gets worse.

Vermin

Your landlord is responsible for making sure that your home is free from vermin when your tenancy begins but is the tenants’ responsibility is to ensure that you don’t encourage vermin into the home by leaving food or waste lying around. However, sometimes vermin are able to find entry points to access the property due to structural disrepair e.g. holes in brickwork, and in these kinds of circumstances, your landlord is legally obligated to ensure that the structural disrepair is fixed. Rodents, such as rats and mice, are known to reproduce more in warmer weather, so their numbers are highest at this time of year.

Security issues due to external timber swelling

With the increased humidity of warmer months, wooden external doors and windows can swell. Whilst a small change isn’t usually a problem, a more serious amount of swelling can actually stop doors or windows from opening or closing, which can be a security issue, or a health and safety issue if they can’t be opened. For example, if an external door or window cannot be opened in the event of a house fire, it could be a serious risk to those living there.

One of a landlord’s legal responsibilities when it comes to repairs and maintenance of your property, is to make sure that you can secure your home properly, and that it is structurally safe for you to live in. If you notice that wooden external doors or windows have swollen so much that they can’t be opened or closed, you should report this to your landlord straight away.

As with any disrepair, the sooner you report any repairs needed to your landlord the better. Unfortunately, sometimes landlords don’t take disrepair reports as seriously as they should and neglect to fix the problem(s) within a reasonable amount of time. If your landlord is a council or housing association, and they don’t fix the issues with your home after you have correctly reported the problem, you may be able to make a claim.

Contact CEL Solicitors today for a free claim assessment. Call us on 0808 281 2660.