Housing Disrepair Claims

Caragh Bailey
03/09/2021
14
4 min read
Housing Disrepair Claims, a guide from Parachute Law

What is classed as disrepair?

If you are living in rented property which has fallen into disrepair, you may have a housing disrepair claim against your landlord.

Housing repairs are covered by Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act

Make sure to read the Pre-Action Protocol for Housing Conditions Claims before beginning any housing disrepair claims.

The main points to remember are:
  • Try and find an alternative resolution before going to court, such as mediation
  • Send a Letter of Claim to your landlord explaining the details of the housing disrepair claim.

Contact us if you would like your Letter of Claim to be drafted by a specialist solicitor.

Your landlord is responsible for:
  • The structure and exterior of your home, such as:
  • the walls
  • the roof
  • the foundations
  • the drains, guttering and external pipes
  • the windows and external doors

  • Sanitation fixtures, including:
  • basins
  • sinks
  • baths
  • toilets, and
  • their pipework

  • Utilities, space and water heating, including:
  • water and gas pipes
  • electrical wiring
  • water tanks
  • boilers
  • radiators
  • gas fires
  • fitted electric fires
  • fitted heaters

You are responsible for reporting disrepair related to any of the above to your landlord. If they fail or refuse to remedy or repair the issue, you may be one of many tenants facing property disrepair claims.

Property disrepair claims examples


  • Damp & Mould
  • Structural instability
  • Blocked or leaking drains, gutters or pipework
  • Long term or recurrently broken heating
  • No access, or unsafe access, to water, gas or electric
  • Broken or unusable sanitation facilities
  • Vermin infestation or insect infestation
  • Leaking roof
  • Unsafe flooring
  • Damaged or unsecure windows or external doors (security risk)
  • Too many inhabitants
  • Excessive heat or cold

You may be able to make a claim for personal injury, alongside your property disrepair claim, if you have suffered illness or injury as a result of the disrepair.

Can I sue my landlord for stress?

You may be able to sue your landlord for stress, if you can provide evidence:

  • Of your stress
  • Of the detriment caused by that stress
  • That your landlord is responsible for the stress

Often the third point can be the hardest. If there are other factors in your life which could be deemed to be the cause of your stress, it can be very difficult to win an award from your landlord.

How much is housing disrepair compensation?

Compensation is awarded on a case by case basis. In the most extreme cases, you could be compensated up to 100% of your rent for the duration of the disrepair. In cases which have caused lesser impact, you may be awarded a percentage of your rent. You can also claim for:

Damage to belongings, such as:

  • Mould damaged textiles
  • Carpets or artwork destroyed by a leak
  • Electrical appliances damaged by a faulty electrical system

You would need photos of the items and receipts to prove their worth. If you win your claim for property damage, you will only be awarded a reasonable amount to replace these items second hand.

Personal injury
If the disrepair has caused illness or injury to you or a housemate you can make a personal injury claim. The compensation you are awarded is based on the severity and duration of your illness. You will also be able to recover any financial losses you have incurred as a result, including loss of earnings if you have been unable to work as usual.

Inconvenience
For example, if you are unable to use a room that you rent due to disrepair, you can claim for the effect this had on your ability to use your home.

How long does a housing disrepair claim take?

In this type of claim, it can often take up to a year, from seeking legal advice, to receiving payment of your award, if, it has to go through the court. Thankfully, you may be able to reach a settlement agreement with your landlord, if they are willing to negotiate a settlement out of court. Contact us to find out how we can help with this.

Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can make property disrepair claims on the same basis as private tenants. If you have reported the disrepair and the housing association have failed to respond within 20 working days (or sooner in an emergency, such as lack of heating or hot water during the cold months), contact us to see how we can help.
You could receive an offer of compensation within a matter of days, if your landlord is accepting of their fault and wishes to resolve the matter swiftly. However, these cases often go through the courts and you will not receive an offer at all. If you win, the court will order your landlord to pay you compensation.

Do you have a housing disrepair claim?

The process for settling a property dispute can be long and costly. If you have a claim we can help you get results quickly.

We can assist with:
  • Handling correspondence with your landlord
  • Pre-action negotiations
  • Application to court
  • Preliminary hearing
  • Mediation
  • Court appearance

We have on hand counsel to support your claim and offer guidance along the way.

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If you have a housing disrepair claim, we can help.

 
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