Housing Disrepair Claims

Our expert solicitors adopt a sensitive approach to housing disrepair claims as they can be extremely upsetting when a landlord refuses to repair a tenants home. This can have a knock on effect and seriously affect the quality of their life.

If the landlord refuses to undertake the work then a claim may be brought for them to undertake the work and to pay compensation. Compensation can be recovered for damage to your items, personal injury (as a result of the disrepair) and inconvenience.

The amount received in compensation is wholly dependent upon the tenants individual set of circumstances and depends upon the severity of the disrepair, how long the disrepair has been in situ and the effect it has had on the tenant.

Should you think that you have a potential housing disrepair claim then please contact us on 01274 924200 or email us at housingdisrepair@bakerreign.co.uk and a member of our housing disrepair team will contact you.

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Claims under contract

Housing disrepair claims can arise out of two places, namely statute and contract.
If there is a tenancy agreement then the claim is likely to be brought as a breach of contract. The tenancy agreement must be checked to review the landlords repairing obligations. However, there are some standard terms which have been created by the Courts which state that:

  1. if the landlord has carried out the repairs then they must be done with reasonable skill and care and with the proper materials; and
  2. the landlord must not let the retained property fall into such a condition that it would have a deleterious effect on the demised property.
Claims under statute

However, if the claim is brought under statute then, including for oral tenancies, this will be brought under section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (“LTA”). Section 11 of the LTA states that there is an implied contractual term that is in effect for all tenancies of less than seven years and cannot be excluded. In short section 11 of the LTA states that the landlord will:

  1. Repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling (this includes drains, gutters and any external pipes);
  2. Repair and keep in proper working order the installations at the dwelling (this includes gas, electricity and sanitation);
  3. Repair and keep in proper working order the installation in the dwelling for heating and hot water; and
  4. Ensuring the property is free from a vermin infestation.
What the tenant must establish

For a tenant to obtain damages or obtain an order requiring that the landlord undertake the works they must establish that:

  1. that the items being complained about are within the landlord’s repairing obligations;
  2. that the item complained of is in disrepair;
  3. notice was given to the landlord that the item was defective; and
  4. that a reasonable period of time has lapsed for the landlord to rectify the defect.