2.5 million social housing tenants have repair issues in their homes

There are around 4.1 million social homes in England and Wales currently. Research recently carried out by Shelter, a housing and homelessness charity, indicates that around 2.5 million of these households have experienced a repair problem in their home in the last three years. The research shows that 10% of social housing tenants had to report the problem in their home to their social landlord 10 times before the issue was dealt with.

Some social housing tenant reported that they feel they are “treated like second-rate citizens” when it comes to the standards of property in which they are expected to live, and many reported repair problems like faulty electrics, broken heating and hot water facilities and damp in their homes. They also complained that the process they had to follow in order to register repair complaints was often very difficult.

It is the legal responsibility of social landlords, whether it be a local authority or a housing association, to ensure that the homes of their tenants are free from serious hazards and meet the current minimum standards. However, it seems that many tenants living in social homes feel that they are not being listened to when they do report repairs, and it can sometimes take many months, or even years, for problems in their homes to be repaired properly.

With some types of disrepair, such as serious damp issues, the problem can actually cause harm to the health of the tenants, so disrepair being left for long periods by landlords is not acceptable.

Shelter chief executive, Polly Neate, commented “Tenants were not listened to at Grenfell and they are still not being listened to in social housing up and down the country… So, what we really need is a new regulator that will hear tenants’ concerns, and follow them up, and be accountable to tenants themselves.”

At CEL Solicitors, we believe that every tenant has a right to live in a home that is safe. We don’t think its fair that you should need to repeatedly complain to your landlord in order to get repairs done that are part of their legal responsibility. If you’re a social housing tenant with repair issues in your home and you feel that your landlord isn’t listening to your complaints or taking you seriously, you may be eligible to make a housing disrepair claim.

If your housing disrepair claim is successful, your landlord will be ordered to make the repairs that your home needs and you may also be eligible for compensation, depending on the circumstances of your case. Contact CEL Solicitors to discuss your options, on 0808 281 2660.