What does housing disrepair mean?
A housing disrepair claim can be brought against the landlord. If successful, a court will order the landlord to make the repairs that are needed on the property.
In some cases, tenants can also make a compensation claim for housing disrepair damages that have caused health issues, have directly put anyone in the household at risk of harm, or caused high and sustained levels of stress and suffering. Start your claim
What counts as housing disrepair?
- A faulty boiler or heating system
- A faulty gas, electricity or water supply
- Damp issues caused by penetrating damp
- Damp issues caused by rising damp
- Vegetation growth/build-up in the guttering
- A faulty toilet, bath, shower or sinks
- Broken or faulty guttering, downpipes or drainage
- Damaged or worn brickwork, resulting in damp or leaks
- Unsafe flooring
- An unsafe staircase
When should I report disrepair to my landlord?
If you don’t report the issue, then your landlord does not have a legal duty to make the necessary repairs. Put simply, if they don’t know about it, they can’t fix it. This can include situations where you have complained about an issue previously, the landlord has fixed the problem, but it has come back e.g. damp. You will need to report the damp again if the problem returns.
It is helpful for tenants to keep evidence of what repairs, and when, they have reported to their landlord, and what their landlord has done, if anything, in response. This could include the names of people you registered the complaint with, copies of all letters, email correspondence, social media complaints, texts or other messages between you and your landlord, images or video footage taken of the disrepair and any calling or appointment cards you have from the landlord, or tradespeople they have asked to look into the problem on their behalf.
Tenants are sometimes worried when it comes to reporting repair issues to their landlord, but it is their legal responsibility to fix these problems, and the sooner they know about repairs that need to be made, the sooner they can do the work. Your landlord is not legally allowed to evict you for requesting repairs to be done.
If, after reporting problems to your landlord, they do not make the necessary repairs to your home within a reasonable timeframe, you may be able to make a housing disrepair claim.
How long does a landlord have to fix something?
Contact your landlord or visit their website to see if they have repair SLAs in place to carry out work on your home. If they do not seem to be taking steps to make repairs within a reasonable amount of time, you might be able to make a claim.
How long does my landlord have to fix my boiler?
If your boiler or heating has been broken for a while and your landlord is fixing the problem, you may be eligible for compensation if you, or anyone in your family, has suffered as a result. Find out more about your rights, and your landlord’s responsibilities when it comes to fixing your boiler, here.
How to complain about housing disrepair
You should keep a record, or diary, of your complaint(s), which should include the names and dates of people you have spoken to or contacted, how many times you have complained and what your landlord has done in response (if anything). This should also include copies of any letters, emails, text messages, social media messages or any other types of correspondence between you and your landlord about the issue(s).
It’s sometimes that case that you complained about a disrepair issue, your landlord sorted the problem but further down the line the issue has come back. You will need to make sure that you report the problem again.
If they still don’t attempt to repair the issues in your home after you have complained, and you, or anyone else who lives there, has suffered as a result, you might be able to claim housing disrepair compensation. You can contact a specialist disrepair law firm to look into your case and help you collect the evidence needed to back up your claim.
What are the responsibilities of a landlord?
There may also be some internal repairs that are the landlord’s responsibility, such as fixing unsafe flooring, unsafe staircases or some damp issues.
What are landlords responsible for fixing?
- Boilers and heating systems
- Gas, electricity or water supply problems
- Damp issues that are caused by penetrating or rising damp
- Build-up of vegetation on the building’s exterior e.g. chimney stack
- Faulty toilets, baths and sinks
- Damaged guttering, down-pipes and drainage
- Worn or damaged brickwork that results in damp
- Flooring that is unsafe
- Staircases that are unsafe e.g. missing or broken banister
If a tenant (or guest of the tenant) has caused the damage, your landlord may not be responsible for paying for the repairs and may charge the tenant for the work that is needed.
How much compensation for housing disrepair?
- How serious the problem/disrepair is
- The number of rooms in your home that are affected
- The impact that the disrepair has had (or is having) on your daily life
- Any risks to health that the disrepair poses
- Whether any of your personal belongings have been damaged by the disrepair
- The length of time that you’ve been waiting for the repairs to be made
As there are so many variables, it’s not possible to estimate an amount of compensation for housing disrepair claims. However, for serious cases of long-standing disrepair, the compensation amount, if your claim is successful, could reach several thousands of pounds.
Compensation can include tenants being paid back for any losses they have suffered as a result of the disrepair. This could be anything from personal belongings, clothing and furniture, to painting and redecorating areas of the property that have been affected too. This is easier to claim for if the tenant has proof of purchase or receipts for any items that were damaged, or images of the damage to prove that things need to be replaced.
To discuss your case with specialist housing disrepair solicitors, who can provide an estimate of how much your disrepair claim is worth, based on the details you provide, contact CEL Solicitors today.
Can I get evicted if I complain about disrepair?
If your landlord does attempt to evict you after a complaint or uses the threat of eviction against you, this is something that a specialist housing disrepair solicitor can deal with on your behalf.