Housing Disrepair is an ongoing issue for many renters living across the UK. In 2022 alone CEL Solicitors have advised thousands of social housing tenants looking for help in getting their landlords to make long-needed repairs to their property.
Compounding this issue is the rising cost of living across the UK and the rest of the world, with national gas and electricity prices rising by around 141% and 65% respectively since winter 2021/22 alone. This leaves many households forced to choose between heating their homes or being able to buy food.
Only recently the Levelling Up Secretary, Michael Gove, wrote to councils to inform them that the “cost of living and energy crisis, which may exacerbate damp and mould conditions in some homes.” You can read more about this in our open call for reform in the housing sector following the tragic death of Awaab Ishak.
For those living with housing disrepair, the issue is far worse. Some of the most common cases of disrepair we deal with at CEL Solicitors mean clients are spending money they don’t have to heat a home which is constantly losing massive amounts of heat.
The ongoing cost of different types of housing disrepair
- Water leaks
- Naturally, water leaks can lead to increased water bills, but they can also cause serious damage to items of clothing and other property, especially if the leak occurs near electrical goods or outlets. Water leaks can also lead to dampness, which can cause even more issues.
- Dampness & mould
- Damp is a very serious issue which can affect not only the structural integrity (like rotten wood and water penetration through brickwork) of the property but the health and well-being of the people who live there. Damp can lead to mould growth which in turn can lead to respiratory problems, asthma, infections and allergies.
- Mould growth is increased in cold and damp rooms, meaning tenants are forced to use radiators and central heating that they may not be able to afford or watch as their rooms become more and more contaminated.
- Boiler and heating issues
- There is a whole range of issues which can affect the heating in a property but one of the most common is a boiler in need of repair, whether that be due to leaking, low pressure, frozen pipes or just generally unresponsive. Boiler and heating issues can mean tenants are unable to bathe or shower, wash dishes, clean clothes and again, heat rooms. All of these can lead to further and even more severe issues as a result.
- Structural damage
- Property issues like loose tiles and brickwork or missing roof slates can lead to cold homes which are all but impossible to keep warm, as well as allowing easy access for water to enter the property and potentially allowing pests and vermin in. Failing to address structural issues in a home quickly can lead to higher costs in the long run with tenants required to spend to keep rooms sufficiently heated, free from damp and mould, dry, healthy, etc.
- Rotten doors or windows
- Much like homes with structural damage, rotten windows and doors can lead to further issues over time like easy water access causing dampness, allowing pests and vermin into the property, allowing heat to escape and otherwise causing problems for those living in the property.
If you’re suffering from disrepair and your landlord is ignoring your requests for help, you should reach out for support, particularly during the current cost-of-living crisis when so many are having to choose between heating their homes and affording food.
At CEL Solicitors we have helped countless tenants get vital repairs to their property from landlords who are often all too happy to sit back and ignore their legal obligations. Additionally, you may be entitled to compensation from your landlord to cover any damages (both to the property and your health) and for the inconvenience, stress and difficulty you have suffered.
Speak with the CEL housing disrepair department for free initial advice. We offer cases on a no-win, no-fee basis meaning you have nothing to pay upfront and payment is only taken once your case has been successful. Call on 0808 273 0900 or apply online and a member of our team will in touch.