Your landlord is responsible for carrying out repairs to your home however they must first be notified of the disrepair. Therefore, it’s very important that all disrepair is reported to landlords as soon as possible.
If your landlord has received notice of the disrepair and has failed to carry out the repairs within a reasonable period of time, then you have a potential claim for disrepair against them.
My house needs repair, what should I do?
You don’t need to suffer in silence as tenants have rights too. You may be entitled to compensation and for an order to have works carried out.
- Contact our lawyers
We will carry out a free initial assessment of your case. Once instructed to act on your behalf, we’ll allocate you with the best expert for your needs and the first thing we’ll do is write to your landlord giving them formal notice of the disrepair and intended action against them.
- Get a professional surveyor to complete an inspection of your property.
- Get your landlord to carry out work.
- Get you the compensation you deserve.
If your landlord refuses to carry out the works and pay you compensation for the inconvenience you have suffered you can issue a claim for housing disrepair in the County Court seeking a court order forcing your landlord to carry out the works and to pay you compensation.
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Why choose Hodge Jones & Allen solicitors?
Our expert housing solicitors in London have been defending the rights of tenants for over 40 years.
We understand how disruptive it can be when a landlord has refused to repair faults or hasn’t kept the house in a suitable condition. We’ll endeavour to get you quick results wherever possible to help reduce the length of the impact on you and your family. interests of its clients’.
- We’ve been ranked as Tier 1 in Legal 500 for our work, including representing clients in disrepair matters.
- We’re ranked in Chambers & Partners 2018 as Band 1 (one of only three).
- We can carry out a free initial assessment of your case.
- We can represent you in bringing a claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
Our specialist housing team understands how much a housing disrepair can affect yours and your family’s quality of life. Therefore, we work to resolve it as soon as possible, putting your needs first.
The London Legal Podcast
Housing Disrepair During Lockdown
Sophie Bell and Shabnam Shekarian, specialist solicitors in our Housing Law team explain the government guidance surrounding housing disrepair issues during the Coronavirus lockdown. Sophie and Shabnam discuss landlords’ responsibilities to ensure their properties are safe and fit for habitation, tenants granting access to their property and how renters may be able to take legal action and claim compensation for issues at their property.
Click here to listen to the podcast.
Our client was a secure tenant of a London local authority. She had been experiencing disrepair to her home, including leaks in the bathroom. These were causing damp and mould growth, as well as damage to the wall plaster and timbers.
Our housing team were instructed to represent her in bringing a claim against the local authority landlord. A claim was issued at court and settlement was secured for all the necessary works to be carried out to her home. Our client was also awarded compensation of £22,500.
Our housing lawyers represented a tenant from a local authority who complained of extensive disrepair throughout their home.
We obtained a report from a chartered surveyor detailing the defects to the property and what works were required, then sent this to the landlord. The tenant’s landlord failed to respond, so court proceedings were issued. At court, the landlord was found liable for the damage. We secured an injunction for the repairs and compensation for our client of £21,782 plus, their legal fees.
In a group action claim, our clients were a group of residents of a London social landlord. They had suffered a lack of heating and hot water in their homes for several years.
Our housing team were instructed to help and were able to secure a settlement in excess of £100,000 for the residents, together with an agreement to carry out works to repair their properties.
Our client had suffered with water penetration, damp, mould growth, electrical issues and blocked drains throughout their tenancy. A Letter of Claim was sent to their landlord, followed by the instruction of an independent Chartered Surveyor.
The surveyor confirmed that there was serious disrepair to the property and that the landlord was in breach of their repairing obligations and their duty of care. The property was not reasonably suitable for human habitation and failed to meet hazard standards.
A copy of the report was sent to the landlord requiring them to agree to carry out the necessary works and compensate our client. Our client’s landlord failed to respond and accordingly we issued court proceedings against them. The landlord initially tried to defend the claim, but we negotiated full repairs, compensation and payment of our client’s legal fees.
Our client had a long standing issue of damp affecting their bedroom wall. Although works had been carried out previously, the damp returned soon afterwards, causing staining, mould growth and damage to our client’s belongings, including their bedding, soft furnishings and clothing.
A Letter of Claim was sent to the landlord followed by the instruction of an independent Chartered Surveyor. The surveyor confirmed that the damp was due to a defect of the cavity wall. They concluded that our client’s landlord was in breach of their repairing obligations and in breach of their duty of care.
A copy of the report was sent to the landlord requiring them to agree to carry out the necessary works and compensate our client. They initially refused to agree to these works, preferring the findings of their own surveyor. After further negotiations, the landlord eventually conceded and agreed to carry out the repairs and pay compensation.
Our client was a social housing tenant who was recovering from cancer. She first noticed some damp and mould in her home and reported this about 3 years ago. Despite it being cleaned off, it continued to grow back.
It transpired after we instructed an expert surveyor to attend there was an issue with faulty and cracked guttering and this was causing rainwater to leak into her home. The landlord agreed to fix the property’s guttering, carry out all the necessary internal repairs and redecorate.
Our client had a recurring damp issue at her home. This resulted in the property smelling strongly of damp and caused our client distress, inconvenience and embarrassment.
A Letter of Claim was sent to the landlord however the landlord maintained that works had been carried out effectively and there was no further damp affecting the property. We instructed an independent Chartered Surveyor, who confirmed issues with damp and the windows. He concluded that our client’s landlord was in breach of their repairing obligations.
The landlord initially refused further works however following a further inspection by their own expert, they agreed to carry out works to address the damp and upgrade the windows to double glazed windows. They also agreed to pay compensation and our client’s legal costs.
We were instructed by a client who had water penetration, severe damp and mould affecting her home. The damp was so bad that her children could not sleep in the bedroom and were sleeping on the living room floor. An independent expert confirmed the property was not fit for human habitation.
The landlord did not engage with us and so we issued a claim for disrepair in the County Court. They attempted to defend the claim by denying or minimising the disrepair, but later agreed to carry out all works as identified by the independent expert. The claim was subsequently settled with an agreement to do all works, pay our client compensation and pay our legal costs.
We were instructed by a client due to water leaks in her bathroom that were affecting the electrical wiring of the property and causing lights and plug sockets to blow, as well as damp and mould.
The landlord confirmed they would ask their surveyor to carry out an inspection. We agreed to this and advised that we would also instruct an independent Chartered Surveyor. The surveyor confirmed that there was damp and mould and that the property was not fit for human habitation. They recommended that works be undertaken to fix the issues.
The landlord agreed to carry out all proposed works and confirming that they wished to try and avoid litigation and settle the claim. Following negotiations, the case was settled with an agreement to carry out works, pay compensation and pay our legal costs.
We were instructed by a client due to an ongoing issue with her heating. The system had been defective for 2 years causing her home to be very cold. She had purchased an electric heater but this was costly to use.
A Letter of Claim was sent to the landlord. They replied confirming they would investigate and asked that we refrain from instructing an independent surveyor. We advised that we felt it necessary to consult our own surveyor to have an ‘independent’ assessment and to preserve evidence on behalf of our client, should litigation be required. Our surveyor confirmed that the heating system required immediate repair and that the property wasn’t for human habitation.
As the landlord did not reply to our Letter of Claim within the specified timeframe, we issued our client’s claim for disrepair as well as an application to the court for an injunction forcing the landlord to carry out the works urgently. The landlord responded and replaced the heating system and agreed to pay our client compensation and their legal fees.
We were instructed by a housing association tenant living with her 3 children in a three bedroom flat. The property suffered from disrepair including damp and defective windows. The damp caused extensive mould growth and affected our client and her children’s health, including exacerbation of Asthma.
A letter of claim was sent to the landlord. Accordingly we instructed an independent expert surveyor to inspect the property and prepare a report confirming the disrepair within the property. The expert advised that the primary cause of the damp was condensation within the property. He also identified defective windows and some other minor items of disrepair.
Works were agreed with the landlord whereby they would overhaul the windows, remove the mould, sterilise, wash down and redecorate the affected rooms. As a result of this agreement it was possible to negotiate a settlement without the need for court proceedings. The claim was settled with an agreement to complete the works within 8 weeks, compensation paid to our client and payment of legal costs.
Do I have to pay for my legal advice?
Legal Aid funding has been curtailed in recent years and is no longer available for most disrepair cases. We can offer to act on your behalf on a ‘no win no fee’ basis, formally known as a conditional fee agreement. We’ll arrange an initial meeting to discuss the most suitable method of funding for your case. We can also answer any questions you might have.
How much compensation can I recover?
The amount of compensation you can recover will depend on several factors such as:
- The nature and extent of the disrepair.
- How long it has been going on for.
- The impact it has had on you and your family.
For more information on this please try our UK disrepair damages calculator.
Will my landlord take any action against me if I take legal action against them?
Your landlord doesn’t have the right to evict you or take any other action against you if you complain about disrepair or if you instruct solicitors to help you take legal action. Your landlord can only act against you if you breach your tenancy conditions, for example by not paying your rent or causing nuisance to your neighbours.
I have a potential claim for housing disrepair. What should I do next?
You can contact us either by telephone or via our website. Some basic details will be taken from you and you’ll be contacted shortly thereafter for an appointment either in person or by telephone.
We also act for leaseholders in relation to claims for disrepair and compensation against freeholders. For more information please contact us.