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Housing Disrepair Success Stories – Disrepair Caused by Tree Roots

The Housing team at Hodge Jones & Allen were instructed to deal with a case involving serious housing disrepair, which included subsidence from nearby tree roots. The subsidence caused extensive cracking to the property’s structure and interior, the tree roots penetrated the drains in the garden and the floors and doors were warping. The landlord failed to address the subsidence over a period of 16 years and it continued to get worse with time.

It’s an express and implied term of the tenancy pursuant to Section 11 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 that the landlord would keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling house and the installations therein for the supply of gas, water, electricity, sanitation and space heating.

Hodge Jones & Allen prepared a detailed Letter of Claim which was sent to the landlord. In addition, joint instructions were prepared and sent to an independent surveyor to attend the property and provide a report on the conditions of the property.

Upon receipt of the surveyor’s report, an updated Letter of Claim was sent to the landlord, however they failed to provide a substantive response. Our Housing Team issued proceedings against our client’s landlord for an order for specific performance, an order that our client be decanted for the works to take place, damages and costs.

Although the disrepair had been ongoing for at least 16 years, our client was limited to seeking damages to a period of 6 years under the Limitation Act 1980.

Shortly before trial the landlord agreed to a settlement.

The claim was settled shortly afterwards for the sum of £14,000.00, they agreed to replace and fit like-for-like flooring and they agreed to continue to minor the subsidence and commission ad further structural survey and carry out any such works identified in that survey.

The parties agreed upon terms of settlement including a timetable for completion of the works, payment of damages within 21 days and payment of legal costs.

Sioned Roberts is an Associate within the Housing team. Sioned has a wide range of experience in all aspects of housing law, with particular expertise in human rights, public law and discrimination cases. She remains committed to legal aid and social justice by providing high quality legal service, regardless of her client’s means.

If you need help with housing disrepair, you can try our housing disrepair compensation calculator or talk to our housing law specialists today. Call us on 0808 291 1437 or request a call back.