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Assisting tenants living with housing disrepair

At Hattons we are often asked, “how much compensation will I receive if I make a claim?”

There are a lot of things we need to consider before we can answer this question, but rest assured Hattons will always be trying to get you the best result.

In a recent housing disrepair case; An assured shorthold tenant of a two-bedroomed flat complained, amongst other things, about rats getting into the property.

Clearly upset by the situation, the tenant reported the problems to their landlord and kept records of when they had telephoned and written to their landlord but even after a year; no repairs had been carried out.

Understandably the tenant sought legal advice and commenced a housing disrepair case. Hattons offer a free half hour appointment with one of the team who consider whether there is a potential claim.

When this particular case reached the Court room, the Judge considered that the rat infestation was the worst of the tenant’s complaints. The Judge decided that the tenant should be entitled to the equivalent of 80% of the value of the rent back from 28 days after the first notification to the landlord.

By the time the matter was brought before the Court, 60 weeks had elapsed since the tenant had first informed their landlord of the rat infestation and the tenant had continued to pay just under £300 a week in rent. This tenant therefore received a substantial compensation award.

Hattons are assisting tenants, both locally and nationwide who have been living with disrepair and helping them seek not only compensation but a Court Order to ensure that the repairs are completed.

Click here to find out more about Hattons Housing Disrepair expertise.

Call Hattons Solicitors today on 01744 744400 for free impartial advice. We’re on your side.

Helping rented houses become homes

Many tenants have issues with their landlords, whether they are privately renting, local authority or housing association but one issue they shouldn’t have is living with disrepair.

Disrepair comes in many forms, the most common being: rising damp, mould, leaks, water damage, cracks, dangerous wiring and vermin infestation.

When tenants sign their tenancy agreement they are usually afforded a number of protections, the most relevant is that the landlord will keep the property in a good state of repair. This does not extend as far as improvements; a landlord ought to repair a broken window frame but there is no requirement to put in double glazing for instance.

Unfortunately, landlords don’t always fulfil their obligations and when they fail to do so a tenant can bring a claim for breach of the contract. The landlord’s obligation usually only extends as far as the structure, the exterior and the supply of utilities to the property. This means that a basis for a disrepair claim would be for damage caused by a water leak but not for damage caused by condensation by way of example.

At Hattons, we are seeing more and more tenants who have notified their landlord of a problem on the phone, online and even face to face but they are still waiting for the repairs to be carried out.

Usually people communicate with their landlords on the phone, particularly when their landlord is a local authority or a housing association because they have a repairs line, but when people notify their landlord in writing they can keep a copy which can be helpful in a claim for disrepair.

We are securing compensation for those tenants who have experienced an uncooperative or unreasonable landlord after they have reported a problem and obtaining a Court Order to ensure that the works are carried out.

Compensation can be claimed for inconvenience; if you could not use your home in the normal way, an abatement of rent if any of the rooms were uninhabitable, damaged property; for example, if your clothes became mouldy; or if you or anyone you live with has experienced an illness as a result of the disrepair.
So, what do we need to assess whether you have a claim for disrepair? Photographs of the disrepair, details of when the disrepair was reported to the landlord and a copy of the tenancy agreement if you have it.

We offer a 30 minute free consultation with one of our team who will assess whether you have a potential claim.

Call Hattons Solicitors today on 01744 744400 for free impartial advice. We’re on your side.

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