Housing Disrepair Claims
LPC & GDL Matthew Shiels
Legally reviewed by: LPC & GDL Matthew Shiels Updated:

Housing disrepair claims can be an important step for ensuring that you live in a safe and comfortable home. Here at AWH, we feel strongly that no-one should be in unsafe living conditions, and we can help you to make a housing disrepair claim if you are occupying a substandard property. Depending on the cause of the issues, we may be able to bring a claim in the County Court, seeking an order for repair work to be completed and housing disrepair compensation to be paid.

What is housing disrepair?

Housing disrepair is when the condition of rented accommodation has deteriorated or changed very negatively from the state that it was in from when you moved in, and the landlord has failed to carry out the necessary steps to improve the property. It can be damage to the interior or to the exterior of the property.

Legally, the lease and tenancy agreement of the property will outline whose responsibility it is to maintain the state of the building. Failure to do this can result in a housing disrepair claim being made.

What are the common types of housing disrepair and what can I claim for?

Common types of disrepair can include:

  • Damp and mould
  • Not having safe access to electricity
  • Insect infection
  • Not having a working heating system
  • Not having working sanitation facilities

You can claim compensation for anything that reasonably should be dealt with by your landlord and that should make the property suitable for a tenant to live in.

What is the legislation that helps my claim?

There are two legal documents that may be used in you make a housing disrepair claim. These are:

  • The fitness for human habitation act
  • The landlord and tenant act (LTA) 1975

The fitness for human habitation act

In March 2019, a law was reinforced that is designed to make sure that rented houses and flats are ‘fit for human habitation.’ This means that they are safe, healthy and free from things that could potentially cause serious harm. Under the Homes Act, your landlord should be doing everything to ensure that your home is safe.

The landlord and tenant act (LTA) 1975

Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenat Act implies a landlord obligation to always carry out basic repairs. It is implies into all tenancy agreements unless the tenancy:

  • Began before 24th October 1961
  • Is a fixed term of seven years or more (with some limited exceptions)

Landlords cannot refuse their legal obligations by using express contractual terms that either attempt to evade the liability or try and pass them on to the tenant. The obligations-imposed cover both private and public landlords. The landlord or their agent has the right to enter premises to inspect the condition and state of repair. They must give the tenant 24 hours’ written notice of their intention to do so.

When should I take court action against my landlord?

Under the LTA, a landlord is not liable to carry out any repair until they have been put on notice of the need for repair and have carried out the repair within a reasonable time thereafter. When the landlord has been aware of urgent and potential dangerous issues to a home that have been ignored, then we may be able to help you make a claim.

When can housing solicitors help me towards a compensation claim?

If you have reached a stage where you need to take legal action against your landlord, then our specialist solicitors will be able to help you make a compensation claim.

What evidence do I need to provide for a housing disrepair claim?

Ideally you need photos of when you first moved into a property, and then later when the disrepair has happened. It is always a good idea to gather as much photo evidence as you can.

If you need legal advice for making compensation for housing disrepair claim, then our experts are here to help.

Read more on our housing disrepair claims page

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is a housing disrepair claim on a no win no fee basis?

Yes, housing disrepair can be offered on a no win no fee basis

Legal Aid is offered in varying situations, so it is best to have a discussion with one of our advisors to establish this.

How much housing disrepair compensation can I claim for?

The compensation that you could receive is based on a number of different factors, so it is difficult to put an exact figure on it. However, a chat with one of our supervisors will make this clearer for you.