Do you have a question about a housing disrepair claim? See our answers below to the most frequently asked questions we're asked. Something you can't find? Don't hesitate to get in touch - our friendly team will be delighted to help.
Under your tenancy agreement and statutory law you have the right to quiet enjoyment of your property and reasonable living standards and to live comfortably in your home. Your home must be free of hazards or damage. It should not cause your undue stress, inconvenience or harm. You and your belongings should be safe. You should not have to live with disrepair.
Your landlord is responsible for fixing most things in your property, excluding some smaller issues such as e.g. lightbulbs. This applies to both private, council and housing association landlords.
The landlord must look after:
If damage to internal decorations are caused by repair problems or arise during the repair process, your landlord must also fix this.
Other important responsibilities of your landlord include:
If you have any such problems in your rental home, it is imperative you contact your landlord as soon as possible.
It is your responsibility to:
The specifics of what you are responsible for will be set out in your tenancy agreement.
You can make a claim for compensation if your landlord has failed to repair the disrepair that you have reported to them within a reasonable time or at all. You can claim compensation if the disrepair has:
Helpful evidence can include:
This will entirely depend on your individual circumstances. It could range from a few hundred to thousands of pounds.
The court will compensate you for the ‘distress, loss of quiet enjoyment, suffering and loss of amenity’ caused by your situation. After all, it is very inconvenient and stressful living in a property in disrepair. Maybe you even had to leave your home as a result of the disrepair or fell ill. Your possessions may have been damaged or destroyed. All these factors are taken into consideration when calculating compensation.
At its most basic, compensation will give you back a percentage of the rent you paid while living with disrepair. This applies even if someone else pays your rent, such as the Housing Benefit department. The compensation does not seek to literally pay you back for the rent paid, rather it is a way of calculating how much you should be owed for your suffering. The percentage you receive will depend on how severe the disrepair was.
The most common percentage ranges from 15% to 50%. For example:
Your rent is £400.00 per month and you have been living with disrepair that you reported to you landlord for 12 months. So in that time your landlord has received £4800.00 in rent. It is assessed that the level of disrepair you have had to put up with merits a 35% reduction in the rent which is £1680.00. This would be the level of general damages awarded for distress and inconvenience. In addition you could claim special damages ie damage to decoration or personal possessions.
The most important element of a housing disrepair claim though, is that your living standards will be restored to an acceptable condition so you and your loved ones can continue living.
You should get in touch with a solicitor who is experienced in this particular area of law.
Lee is a Chartered Legal Executive with over 30 years litigation experience. He heads up our Housing Disrepair team.