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Housing Disrepair Success Stories – Failure to Provide Repairs to Disabled & Vulnerable Client

The Housing Law team at Hodge Jones & Allen have been passionately defending the rights of tenants since 1977, and we know how your life can be turned upside down when a landlord refuses to make repairs to your home.

In our weekly Housing Disrepair Success Stories blog series, we’ll share the details of some of our successful settlements to show tenants that help is available to ensure you have a safe home to call your own. In this week’s case study, we look at a past case that involved a disabled and vulnerable client who’d been failed by their landlord to provide effective repairs to their home. A successful result was ultimately secured by Farzana Chowdhury.

Poor housing conditions

Farzana acted for Miss W, whose property, for the past two and a half years, had suffered from significant disrepair. The disrepair included a defective front door, damaged electrics, water penetration causing damp and plaster damage, defective drainage and flooding of the rear garden. Miss W also suffered from a number of health issues requiring adaptations to the property.

We sent a detailed letter of claim to the landlord setting out that they were in breach of express and implied terms of the tenancy and/or breach of their statutory and common law duties. The landlord had been notified of the disrepair early on but had failed to carry out effective repairs to the property, despite their knowledge of our client’s disabilities and consequent vulnerability.

We subsequently instructed an independent surveyor to inspect the property and prepare a report on the conditions. The report confirmed that the property was indeed in a significant state of disrepair. The expert advised that the repairs couldn’t be carried out with the tenant in occupation and that alternative temporary accommodation should be provided.

The landlord stated that they wished to permanently move our client out as they argued that the property needed adaptations and wasn’t suitable for our client.

Our client didn’t wish to move permanently as she needed to remain in the same locality due to her support network. She was dependent on family members, friends and neighbours for assistance with daily tasks, which could not be provided if she was moved.

Due to the disagreement between parties, we issued a claim for disrepair. The Defendant initially maintained their position, however, they eventually agreed to a temporary decant. They agreed to carry out all identified works and the claim was settled for the sum of £14,000 damages and payment of legal costs.

Farzana Chowdhury is a Partner in our leading Housing Team, who are ranked tier 1 by both the Legal 500 and Chambers UK legal directories. Farzana’s own specialist housing skills and expertise are also recognised by the two leading legal directories. Farzana has earned a reputation for taking on more complex housing cases and gaining excellent results for her clients. If you’d like to talk to our Housing team about an issue with your home, call us today on 0808 271 9413 or request a call back.