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Housing Disrepair Solicitors

Smart & caring Housing Disrepair solicitors In London
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Housing Disrepair Claims For Tenants

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If your rented Home, through social housing or a Private Landlord, has fallen into a state of disrepair or in simpler terms deteriorated, from what it was when you moved in, and your landlord has failed to repair your home, then our lawyers can help you to re-claim your rent and any costs in you repairing your rented home.

This is not limited to physical deterioration. It can be a rat infestation, it could be a mould problem, it could be a broken boiler, it could be a leaking gutter. Whatever the problem that prevents you from enjoying your rented home as a home, our experienced team of solicitors and surveyors are here to help you and guide you to ensure that you are compensated for what is your Right.

It might not just stop there; the state of your deteriorated/disrepaired home might lead to even worse consequences, such as a physical, psychological or financial loss/injury.

How can Freeman Harris Solicitors help with your housing disrepair claim?
 

Our solicitors understand that this can be a distressing time and can affect your life adversely and we are here for you every step of the way to support and guide you through the entire legal process to ensure you are Fairly and Justly compensated for all your losses.

The best part of it, is that we do this on a no win no fee basis for tenants, meaning you do not pay us a penny and we recover all costs from the Landlord subject to our success fee.

So if your landlord has refused to repair your home and you feel you are banging your head against a damp brick wall, which might collapse in any event, please call our team of experts to discuss whether you can make a housing disrepair claim. You can call us on 020 7790 7311 or email contact@freemanharris.co.uk.

Are you a London Landlord facing constant pressure from your errant tenants? Complaints galore and no resolve? No rent and then they sue you?

Our team of lawyers at Freeman Harris can assist your including acting on record to defend any spurious claim presented by your Tenant.

We can provide bespoke package deals for our business clients or a more generalised legal package, which ever suits your need. We are here for you.

You need to have reported the problem to your landlord, asking them to fix the issue with the house you live in. If you haven’t, you must do so in writing outlining the issues and what needs to be resolved.

It is important that you have proof of you reporting the problem with a specified date. If your landlord doesn’t address the problem, you must send another reminder.

We will need to see such proof in order to assess your claim.

Our Legal Team
Choy Chan With extensive experience in dealing with housing disrepair claims, I have assisted a number of tenants in getting rightful compensation for the issues they have faced in their rented property.

With over 10 years’ experience in dealing with various litigation matters, I am well placed to head up our specialist housing disrepair department in. I have worked on a number of disrepair cases helping tenants get rightful compensation.

Niki

Niki assists with all housing disrepair matters by liaising with clients and gathering information in the early stages of your claim.

Alia

Alia will be assisting you with gathering information on your claim, and advising you on the next steps.

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Common Housing Disrepair Questions

What is considered housing disrepair?

In order for any issues in your rented property to amount to disrepair, there must be deterioration. Deterioration is when parts or the entire property are in a worse condition that it was at the time you moved in.

Your landlord must keep the house in a good condition, failing to do so would result in a housing disrepair claim.

If any new work is done in the property by the landlord after you have moved in, and the new work deteriorates, then it isn't a housing disrepair claim.

We have written a post on what is housing disrepair, which you can read here.

What is the housing disrepair protocol?

The complete protocol for housing condition claims in England can be read on the Housing Disrepair Claims Protocol page on the Ministry of Justice website.

We will summarise the key parts which you can understand easily as follows.

As with all Protocols, the Housing Disrepair Claims Protocol describes the conduct that all parties are expected to follow by the court for a housing disrepair claim prior to the issuance of legal proceedings. Parties are encouraged to exchange information as early as possible and there is a clear framework provided, which can be used by parties to achieve an early and appropriate resolution.

Notifying landlord before starting Housing Disrepair Protocol

The Landlord has to be put on notice by the tenant over the disrepair. The landlord should also be given a reasonable time to resolve the matter before following the protocols.  This notice should ideally be in writing as this would form a vital component of the claim

How much time should the landlord have before resolving the disrepair?

The urgency of the disrepair should dictate how long it takes the landlord to resolve the disrepair. If there is serious disrepair such as a broken wall, which affects insulation and access to the house, then it would require immediate attention.

Letter of claim for housing disrepair

The Letter of Claim for a housing disrepair should contain:-

  • The tenants name, address, tenant’s address if different from the disputed property, telephone number and when the property can be accessed
  • Details of the defects in the property, including any outstanding defects
  • History of the defects in the property and any attempts to rectify them
  • Details of any complaints and/or correspondence about the issues with the landlord
  • Effects of the defects on the tenant, and inclusion of any injury claims
  • Name of a proposed expert
  • Proposed letter of instruction to the expert 
  • Details of special damages, if any
  • Disclosure of any readily available documents
  • Disclosure of all documents relevant to the disrepair from the landlord 

The landlord should be sent a copy of the Protocol in case the landlord will not have access to it.

Response of the landlord

The landlord must respond within 20 working days of receiving the Letter of Claim

Once the landlord responds, they should disclose all relevant records or documents and respond to the tenants proposals about the expert. 

If there is no response, legal proceedings can be issued as soon as the tenant has enough information to proceed.

Admission or denial of liability

The landlord should within their response, or within 20 working days of receiving the expert's report should:

  • Outline whether liability in the claim is admitted or disputed
  • Outline any allegation against the tenant such as lack of notice or inability to access
  • Provide a full schedule of intended works with start and end dates
  • Make any offer of compensation and costs

Experts and the Protocol

There are detailed steps in the Protocol regarding instruction of an expert. Both parties should attempt to agree on a single expert. Where this is not possible, a joint inspection by experts representing each party should be agreed. 

Costs and the Protocol

If the housing disrepair matter is settled prior to going to court through the use of the Protocol, the landlord should pay the tenants costs and expenses  within reason.

The tenant is entitled to legal costs up to the point that repairs are carried out according to the case Birmingham v Lee if the claim is worth more than £1,000.

As  with all legal matters, the court  expects legal action to be a last resort, so consideration of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is seen positively. ADR could include mediation, arbitration or early neutral evaluation. 

Can I sue my landlord for disrepair?

Yes, as outlined above, a tenant has the right to seek compensation for disrepair in a rented property, which has been ongoing for a time period without being resolved.

The amount of compensation depends on the severity of the disrepair, and how long it has lasted.

What is classed as disrepair?

In simple terms, housing disrepair is when the condition of a rented house or flat, either through social housing or a private landlord, has deteriorated or changed negatively in comparison to the state of the dwelling at the time you moved in.

We answer this in more detail in our blog post, what is housing disrepair?’.

What responsibility does a landlord have to carry out repairs of your home?

It is the implied responsibility of the landlords to repair any damage caused to the house that you reside in. A landlord cannot refuse to repair any damage especially for it wasn’t caused by the tenant.

There are three principal areas where the landlords have to carry out repair works. These include the exterior of the property, the bathrooms and the property utilities.

The tenancy agreement can outline what has to be repaired by the landlord.

What if the landlord is refusing to refusing to repair any damages?

If you have notified the landlord that there are issues that need to be fixed and they refuse, you should try and negotiate with them. This can be done through the letting agents or directly, depending on your agreement.

If your landlord still refuses, this can then be escalated through solicitors.You may be eligible for compensation as a result of this issue, and the possible resulting ill health or damage to your belongings.

If you have caused damage to the property then the landlord may not be liable.

What evidence do I require for a housing disrepair claim?

You need to keep a record of the date you reported the housing disrepair issue and a copy of all correspondence with your landlord.

It is very helpful if you take photographs of the areas involved and the steps you had to take as a result of non-repair.

You should keep receipts of any expenses you have incurred and any health issues must be discussed with your GP.

Will my housing disrepair claim go to court?

When we take on a claim, the first step is to assess the claim and we will then notify your landlord as per the pre-action protocols. The letter of claim that we write will outline the following:

  • outline a method to resolve the housing disrepair issue
  • request that that any remedial works to be completed in the property, which are the landlord's responsibility
  • request compensation for the housing disrepair
  • outline and exchange evidence of housing disrepair
  • keep the costs of resolving the matter as low as possible
How much is my housing disrepair claim worth?

We cannot tell you what the total compensation of your claim would be until we review your case.

We have written a post on calculating a housing disrepair claim, which you can read to understand the value of your claim.

What are the uninhabitable living conditions in the UK?

The correct term used in the UK is 'unfit for habitation', which occurs when conditions or safety issues in a property are so severe that it's not reasonable for a person to live there.

A property can be deemed to be 'unfit for habitation' if:

  • your health is seriously affected by being in the property
  • You are at risk of physical harm or injury being the in the property
  • You are unable to use your home completely
What are unfit living conditions?

There are a number of things which could make a property unfit for living. Some examples of these conditions include:

  • Gas safety risks and issues
  • Unsafe electrics in the property
  • Fire safety issues
  • Damp and/or mould
  • Lack of heating
  • Rats, mice or other pests
  • Structural issues or internal disrepair
  • Unsanitary toilets, bathrooms or kitchens

Housing Disrepair Fees

Housing Disrepair Costs

No win, no fee.

We only take on matters against housing associations and companies acting as landlords.

Please note we do not offer a no win no fee service to landlord’s at this moment.

careful resolution for housing Disrepair Issues

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