Do you live in a housing association? Understanding your rights is critical to ensuring fair treatment and enabling you to live peacefully in your home. Managing Director and solicitor, Paul Hampson explains exactly what your rights are as a social or local authority tenant.
“When you’re a housing association tenant or a local authority tenant, most tenants are what we call either assured or secure tenants, which means you have a tenancy agreement that gives you a security of tenure so you’re secure in your home. You also have rights at the other side of that, so one of the rights that you have is quiet enjoyment of your property, you have a right to your own privacy, and a right to remain in your own house.
And you also have rights to live in good standard accommodation, and if you do have disrepair problems, and you think there are any safety concerns or anything wrong with your house where it’s affecting your enjoyment of it, or you have concerns, then we give advice on that.
So generally, anything that concerns you with the house, if you give us a call, we’ll tell you what your rights are.
So what happens, as soon as you give us a call is one of our first response advisors initially take instructions. They’re highly trained on tenants’ rights and the things you can and can’t claim for, so they’ll give you some initial advice. We will then instruct an agent. We’ve got a nationwide panel of agents that we’ve trained up. They’ll go round to your house, take photographs, take some more details of you, find out what the issues are. They will then send us that report, usually within a day or two, that’ll come straight back in.
We’ll then give you a quick call, advise you, and then we’ll engage with your landlords. When we send them a letter, they have 20 working days, which is four weeks, initially to respond. After that stage, they have to basically confirm that they’re going to do all the repairs, pay you compensation and pay our costs. And if they don’t do that, that’s when we instruct an expert surveyor.
All of our surveyors are qualified by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. They will do a full report with a court schedule. We will then send the surveyor’s report to your landlords and they have to then carry out the repairs. We always ensure that all the repairs are done to the highest standards, and we always make sure that our clients get whatever compensation they’re entitled to.
The way the compensation works is generally you get a percentage of your rent back. So however long you’ve had a disrepair issue, whether it’s one year or two years you’ll generally get back between 20 and 50% of your rent back that you paid in that period.