Council Housing Disrepair Cases up 132 %

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Sheffield Social Housing Disrepair Claims
 Allaya Hussain
Legally reviewed by: Allaya Hussain In: Housing Disrepair

UK Council disrepair cases have drastically increased in the past five years. For Sheffield City Council’s housing, the number of disrepair cases in 2018 was 117, which has increased to as many as 1,970 as of April 2023. Furthermore, the cost of the cases, and legal fees paid on compensation to Sheffield residents has increased by 90% from £292,655 in 2018-2019 to £2,986,269 in 2022-2023. In the first four months of 2023-2024 the cost of Sheffield councils cases came to £1,309,324.

Council officers said if the authority could complete 95% of repair work within 55 days it would save roughly £3.5m per year in disrepair claims.

However, the council is currently completing only 6.5% of disrepair jobs within the 55-day target, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Council Housing Disrepair Cases Increased by 132%

Data from Inside Housing shows that across England, legal costs have doubled for local authorities from 2017-18 to 2020-21. Meanwhile, the number of council housing disrepair cases have risen by 132%.

Sheffield Council’s Report

Sheffield Council recently released a report that went before its housing policy committee last month. The report highlights the rising caseloads of disrepair cases which have “steadily increased since 2018.”

“Disrepair cases have increased not only due to a pause of non-urgent repair work in 2020 due to COVID-19, but also due to changes in legalisation.

“Our legal team advised us back in 2021 that, in their professional opinion, we will continue to see cases increase.”

The report names the new Home (Fitness for Habitation) Act 2018, which came into force in England in March 2020 as one of the reasons more tenants have been making claims. The law required landlords in England to maintain their properties to meet minimum standard of human habitation. It aims to protect tenants by giving them the power to take legal action against their landlords where necessary.

Sheffield Council’s Aim to Reduce Disrepair Cases

The report states “we do not feel that case numbers will return to pre-COVID levels of 117 to 200 cases per annum. However, we forecast that it is likely that we will see new monthly cases of around 50 to 70 per month, so around 500 to 840 new cases per annum, moving forwards.”

The council has recently introduced a tirage process for all disrepair cases. This process involves improving customer service, ensuring that a staff member from the council speaks directly to the resident. Furthermore, the triage process ensures that in-house teams will carry out the diagnosing of repair works. Finally, the new process ensures that residents who have never reported repair work are signposted to the council’s complaints process.

Furthermore, the council has formulated an early-resolution improvement plan. The plan includes proposals to recruit a surveyor to deal with more complex cases, to support the pre-inspection regime. The plan further aims to engage addition staff resources and analyse disrepair cases to establish any trends. Finally, the council we research the use of environmental sensors in homes experiencing damp and mould.

The report states it is “clear” that the council needs to invest in further repair teams so they can ensure completion of a higher number of work orders per month.

Making a Social Housing Disrepair Claim

Around 14 million individuals reside in subpar housing, with 5% of adults say that housing concerns have negatively impacted their physical or mental health, according to reports from the National Institute of Health, NHS.

If you reside in social housing and are experiencing disrepair issues, our team of housing disrepair solicitors are here to assist you in claiming the necessary repairs for your home. We can also help you seek compensation for any physical, mental, or financial hardships you have endured due to the disrepair.

Your local authority council or housing association has the responsibility to ensure that the property you reside in meets specific standards and receives proper maintenance. Therefore, if your local authority council or housing association has neglected these obligations, our housing disrepair claims solicitors can assist you in pursuing claims to enforce the necessary repairs. In addition to facilitating the required repairs, we can also assist you in claiming compensation for damage to your belongings, illness, or injuries resulting from the disrepair.

To start the process, our housing disrepair solicitors will provide you with a free assessment of your case. If we choose to handle your claim, we will work on a no-win, no-fee basis, ensuring that we relieve you of any financial burden throughout the legal proceedings.

Find out how our housing disrepair team can help you here.

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