Living in an environment that does not meet the required standards can cause injuries or chronic illnesses and can significantly impact your quality of life. Therefore, it is important that you understand your rights and know what to do if you find yourself living in a home that has housing disrepair issues.
A recent survey revealed that two-thirds of renters had experienced a disrepair issue, reflecting how common a problem this is. The survey also highlighted how long tenants are waiting for disrepair issues to be resolved – the average amount of time it takes landlords to resolve the issue was 41 days and a quarter of tenants waited six months for repairs!
If your landlord does not respond promptly when you inform them of a disrepair issue, you may be entitled to compensation.
Whether you are a tenant living in social housing, housing association accommodation or property owned by a private landlord, there are regulations that protect tenants by holding landlords legally accountable for ensuring your home is in a good state of repair.
What are the most common disrepair issues?
The most common disrepair issue is damp, which accounts for over a third of the disrepair issues reported in the UK. Mould is a dangerous hazard as well. Living in a property affected by dampness and mold can have serious health consequences such as respiratory infections, asthma, and allergies, so this issue must be addressed quickly to protect the health of people living in the property.
The other common disrepair issues are broken boilers, water leaks, roof leaks and problems with electrical wiring. Landlords must comply with the Housing Act 1985 and 1996, as well as the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, to maintain the property to ensure it is kept in a consistently liveable condition.
Not having hot water or heating in your home is not only uncomfortable and inconvenient, but this can also lead to a wide range of illnesses and diseases, including respiratory conditions, infections and problems affecting the immune system. This is why you must take action before health problems start to develop.
What to do if you think your home is in disrepair
As soon as you are aware of an issue such as damp, a broken boiler, faulty installations, structural issues, gas pipe or electrical wiring problems, you should contact your landlord. Keeping a written record of your correspondence (e.g. text message or email) will help to provide evidence of the date you contacted them, should you progress to making a claim.
The earlier that you contact your landlord the better, providing as much detail about the disrepair as possible, including photos (if these are obtainable). If the landlord does not arrange for the issue to be rectified within a reasonable timeframe, you should seek legal advice of experienced housing disrepair solicitor regarding whether you can claim for compensation.
How a housing disrepair solicitor can assist you
An experienced housing disrepair solicitor can provide valuable guidance to tenants seeking compensation for housing disrepair issues, including covering the costs of temporary accommodation. With their expertise in housing law, these solicitors can help you gather the necessary evidence and offer advice to strengthen your claim. Many housing disrepair solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis, ensuring that you won’t have to pay any fees unless your case is successful.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to a housing disrepair expert to start your claim.