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.