Housing Disrepair, Especially Damp And Mould – A Serious Issue For Social Landlords

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 a major concern

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:

  1. 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.
  1. 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).
  1. 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.

Biggest Housing Disrepair Issues 2022

It is safe to say that the social housing market in the UK has had its ups and downs over the last few years. However, one area that seems to be consistently problematic is housing disrepair. While it can be challenging to stay on top of social housing and accommodation repair and maintenance requests as a housing association, certain oversights simply can’t be ignored.  In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the biggest housing disrepair issues for 2022. We hope that this information will be helpful for both solicitors and case handlers who are dealing with these types of cases over the next couple of months.

2022 housing disrepair claims

Damp & Housing Disrepair Claims

The global pandemic has certainly reinforced the importance of people’s homes, and there is growing awareness and evidence of the connection between quality of life, mental and physical health, and the home environment. More pressure will be put on housing associations in the UK to resolve issues at home that could impact health and wellbeing, especially as more people than ever before work from home. One of the biggest housing disrepair issues for 2022 is dampness. 

Damp can cause a wide variety of problems, including mould and respiratory problems. It can also damage property and furniture. In some cases, it can even lead to health problems for residents. It is important to note that dampness can be caused by a number of things, including defective brickwork, failed damp proof course, poor insulation, leaky roofs and windows, and plumbing problems. If you are dealing with a case involving housing disrepair, it is important to investigate the initial cause of damp in order to hold someone accountable, whether this is a housing association or the local council. 

Mould – A Significant Health Concern

Another prominent housing disrepair issue for 2022 is mould. Mould can not only cause but can make worse respiratory health conditions and can trigger asthma attacks, and skin irritation. In some cases, a property with mould can be life-threatening to residents, which is why it is so important to investigate the root cause of mould and what has been done to resolve the issue. If you have a housing disrepair claim that involves mould, you should also take note of any medical conditions the tenants have, along with any health issues that have developed within the past couple of months whilst living at the property.

2022 housing disrepair claims

Gas Safety – Often Overlooked

Another big issue is gas safety. Gas leaks can be extremely dangerous, and in some cases, they can even be fatal. It is therefore important that housing associations take gas safety seriously and ensure that all appliances are checked on a regular basis. Unfortunately, many housing associations can sometimes overlook this health and safety concern. Which can lead to serious and life-threatening risks for residents. 

In November 2021 the government announced a new rule regarding carbon monoxide alarms. Each alarm must now be fitted in social and privately rented properties with appliances such as gas boilers and gas fires. Eddie Hughes MP, Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing explained that 20 people are killed each year due to carbon monoxide poisoning and this simple intervention can prevent needless deaths. ¹

If you are dealing with a housing disrepair claim in which the property has an unsafe gas connection, it is important to investigate the issue and find out how much time has passed since the last gas safety check. If you are dealing with a case involving an explosion or carbon monoxide poisoning, it is also important to consider whether there were any smoke alarms in place that could have alerted residents of danger earlier. 

Electrical Safety At Home 

Last but not least, we have electrical safety at home. Now that we live in such a digital-first world, faulty appliances and issues involving electricity can not only be a health and safety issue, but can interrupt those working remotely. And this could lead to unemployment or financial loss.

According to the UK government, there are over 30 deaths a year caused by faulty electrics. And these include fires and electrocution from appliances and wiring. If you suspect that your client has suffered an injury related to poor electrical safety in their home, it is important to investigate this further.

For more information regarding a housing disrepair claim or sourcing a housing disrepair solicitor, feel free to contact Next Gen Solicitors today. 


1: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/all-social-homes-required-to-have-smoke-alarms-fitted

Liberty SIPP Is Now in Administration: Investors Can Claim for Mis-Sold SIPP

Liberty SIPP went into administration on 27 April 2020 and is the latest mis-sold pension financial provider to hit the headlines due in part to high-risk investments in unregulated markets. If you’re worried about your Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) with Liberty SIPP and want to know more, this Next Gen Solicitors briefing provides all required information.

What Is a SIPP?

In many ways, a SIPP could be classed as a DIY pension, as it enables anyone saving towards a pension to choose their own retirement investments. They are a perfect solution for people with several small pensions, as it’s possible to transfer all of these into one SIPP “wrapper”. There are two types of SIPP. These are:

  • Full SIPPs, which are only suited to larger pensions investments and more sophisticated investors seeking to put funds in discrete investing solutions, such as commercial properties. These SIPPs tend to accrue higher management charges, and providers include Suffolk Life and Rowanmoor.
  • Lite or DIY SIPPS, which do provide a much larger variety of investments, and are operated by a variety of what’s termed fund supermarkets. What is often classed as the “get out clause” by SIPP providers of this nature is that they are “execution-only” which means the provider does not offer up any sort of investment advice. Liberty SIPP falls into this category and has attempted to argue with the Financial Ombudsman Service (FoS) that its execution-only status meant it was not liable for any investor losses. This argument has proved to be an invalid legal defence, and the FoS has confirmed that Liberty SIPP does have some responsibility for client investor losses.

Who Are Liberty SIPP?

Liberty SIPP launched in 2007, and its introduction of the Liberty Option SIPP in 2013 was extremely popular with pensions advisers and savers. This was down to the low annual management fees and zero fee setup costs for the SIPP. However, mis-sold SIPP allegations dogged Liberty from 2011 onwards, resulting in the 2018 sale of its total assets to EBS Pensions Ltd, part of the Embark Group. This means that Liberty SIPP did not hold or administer any client assets at the time of the insolvency.

The Financial Ombudsman Service upheld a number of cases against Liberty SIPP, all of which were in regard to high risk, and non-standard investments. Many of these cases related to the unregulated introducer Avacade, and the wide range of Avacade-guided investments clients made into high-risk schemes. These included:

  • Gas Verdant
  • InvestUS
  • Ethical Forestry
  • Sustainable Agro

Most of the Avacade claims have been upheld by the FoS, which has stated there is: “a high chance that a lot, if not all, of the business introduced by Avacade, would contain a high risk of significant consumer detriment.”

The FoS rulings were twofold, as they related to the fact that Liberty SIPP accepted introductions from an unregulated provider, such as Avacade, and also enabling the funds introduced to be invested in these high risk, unregulated and unsuitable schemes. The argument that Liberty SIPP was merely a facilitator and operated on an “execution only” basis was dismissed by the FoS, as the company was deemed to have failed in its requirement to apply due diligence in all financial aspects of the business.

Liberty SIPP was subsequently advised to enter administration as the high numbers of successful claims made against it meant it was insolvent. The administration order provides some levels of protection for consumers under the terms of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

If you are an investor with Liberty SIPP, you will shortly receive a letter from the administrators, Leonard Curtis. This letter will provide advice on what further action you need to take and what this insolvency means for you. If you don’t already have a claim in place, you will need to apply via the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

How Can I Claim Against Liberty Sipp?

You can avoid all the worries of claiming against Liberty SIPP for your mis-sold SIPP when you instruct the experts here at Next Gen Solicitors. All our cases against Liberty are dealt with on a no-win, no fee basis, so you don’t have to part with a penny of your hard-earned cash. Get in touch today to find out more!