For social landlords, housing disrepair, particularly damp and mould, has become a major concern.
The Housing Ombudsman carried out a Spotlight investigation into damp and mould, which revealed which council in their report was the lowest-performing landlord on this concern. With 10.8 finds per 10,000 households, Hammersmith & Fulham topped the list as the landlord with the most damp and mould maladministration findings. The ombudsman’s report accused social landlords of cultivating a “culture of blame” among tenants and advocated for a zero-tolerance attitude to damp and mould problems.
An ongoing investigation into the state of social housing by ITV News exposed a tenant’s poor living conditions. This has encouraged a damp and disrepair action plan to be developed. There are also serious concerns about the impact the energy crisis will have on people living in properties suffering from damp and mould.
When renting a house in the United Kingdom, you should feel safe and secure. In the maintenance of a property, both tenants and landlords have a role to play. A landlord, however, is liable for compensation claims if they fail to guarantee that a rented property is safe and in good repair.
Even though the council will be handling a new approach, whereby dehumidifiers and humidity monitors are installed as temporary measures – this is certainly not an effective long-term solution. Damp and mould can make you more likely to have respiratory infections, allergies, and asthma. It can also affect your immune system.
Housing Disrepair Solicitors – Next Gen Can Help You
Feeling safe, secure, and comfortable in your own home is a basic human right. If you are in a position where a landlord has failed to make necessary repairs to a rental home, and this has put you at risk, you may be able to file a claim for housing disrepair – as long as the landlord has been notified first of the disrepair. As housing disrepair solicitors, Next Gen Solicitors can help you assess if the landlord is at fault and whether filing housing disrepair claims would likely result in compensation.
According to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, and the Homes Fitness For Human Habitation Act 2018 (also known as the Human Habitation Act), a landlord has a legal obligation towards the maintenance and general upkeep of a property.
This includes the structure and exterior of your home (walls, roof, foundations, drains, guttering and external pipes, windows and external doors), and also basins, sinks, baths, toilets, pipework, water, gas pipes, electrical wiring, water tanks, boilers, radiators, gas fires, fitted electric fires and/or fitted heaters.
Some examples of disrepair include (but are not limited to) water leaks, water ingress, damp, mould, dry rot, structural issues or faults with your roof, guttering, windows, and doors.
With Next Gen Solicitors, there is no financial risk. A ‘no win no fee’ approach is used, and there are no upfront solicitors’ fees. You only ever pay anything if your ‘no win no fee’ claim is successful.
Housing Disrepair Claims – How To Make One
To make a successful housing disrepair claim, you first have to prove that:
- Your home suffers from actionable defects
- Your landlord has knowledge of the actionable defects
- Your landlord has failed to remedy them within a reasonable period of time
- That you have suffered loss and damage as a result of the disrepair
Housing Disrepair Claims – Receiving Compensation
In most cases, the compensation you seek is categorized in three ways:
- Claiming for damage to personal belongings: You may be eligible to seek compensation if objects belonging to you or anybody in your household are damaged or destroyed as a result of your landlord’s neglect to make repairs. This includes damp and mould-damaged clothes, bedding, and curtains, as well as carpets and furniture ruined by water escaping from busted pipes that your landlord hasn’t rectified. These goods may be covered by your contents insurance.
- Claiming for damage to your health: If you or any member of your household has been injured or suffered illness (or their health has deteriorated) as a result of your landlord’s neglect to make repairs, you may be entitled to claim compensation for personal injury. Physical (e.g., chest infections caused or aggravated by damp, or accidents caused by unsafe stairs) or mental health issues may arise (eg. distress).
- Claiming for inconvenience: You may also be entitled to compensation if you have been inconvenienced or unable to use your house in a regular manner as a result of your landlord’s neglect to make necessary repairs. The amount of compensation granted by the court will be determined by the extent of the damage and its impact on you.
It is highly recommended, to support your claims, for example when you make a claim for damage to your personal belongings; to gather as much proof of the damage as possible. If at all possible, keep the spoilt items; they could come in handy if you can show them in court. You should also photograph any damaged items and collect receipts to show that you have to replace them. It will be easier to verify the value of damaged items if you still retain the original receipts.
Similarly, if you claim for personal injury, you’ll have to show the court that the deterioration is connected to your health concerns. The state of disrepair does not have to be the sole cause of the health issues, but it must be a contributing factor.
For example, if your child has asthma, the damp conditions in your house caused by your landlord’s refusal to make repairs would be considered a contributing factor to your child’s illness. You may be required to show a surveyor’s report as well as a medical certificate from your doctor to verify the amount of the damage
With Next Gen Solicitors, you’re in expert hands helping you every step of the way. You’ll be given help and legal support with your claim. It’s time to receive the compensation you deserve for your housing disrepair.