Claiming compensation for structural defects in social housing

Living in a property which has structural defects can be very dangerous. If you live in social housing and your landlord has failed to fix the structural defects in your home, causing an unsafe or unhealthy living environment, we can help you.

If your landlord has failed to make the necessary repairs following notification of structural defects, our specialist housing disrepair team can help you claim for the repairs to be carried out as well as compensation.

Find out if we can help you with your disrepair issues. All our social housing disrepair claims are always handled on a no win, no fee basis.

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Please note: at this stage we can only help people who live in social housing in England and Wales. We cannot assist you if you are in a private rental. 

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Your rights as a social housing tenant

Structural defects and the law

By law, landlords are responsible for maintaining and repairing the structure and exterior of their property. This is according to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, the Housing Act 2004 and was most recently confirmed in the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018.

This means that under UK law your landlord has a duty to ensure that no structural defects result in further damage to your home and cause you to suffer. It is against the law for your landlord to ignore your requests for them to fix structural defects  that are causing harm to you and/or your possessions. If the structural defect has been wilfully caused by the actions of you, your family and/or visitors, your landlord make seek to recharge the cost of any necessary works to you.  If your social landlord refuses to fulfil their duties and let the structural damage get to such an extent that you are unable to use one or multiple rooms in your home, we could help you make a claim.

Structural damage in defective properties may also lead to other problems such as water leaks or vermin and pest infestations. If this has happened in your home, we can help you to insist that the landlord complies with its repairing obligations and rectifies the structural damage so as to prevent the leak or pest infestation from continuing.

Our housing team could help you to make a claim for your suffering if your social landlord has neglected their legal duty to maintain and repair the structure of your property. The only situation in which it would be your responsibility, by law, to pay the costs involved in fixing structural defects is if those defects  have developed because of damage you, your family or visitors have caused.

Causes of structural defects

Damage to the following areas in your home could be caused by or result of structural defects:

  • Interior and exterior walls
  • Ceilings
  • Door and window frames
  • Foundations
  • Floors

Defects in these areas can cause issues such as damp and mould, and can attract vermin and pests and even make you ill. Decay, rot, damp, poor alterations and movement are just a few of the causes of structural damage that can lead to these problems arising.

It is a good idea to keep an eye out for damp, mould and vermin or pests, and alert your landlord if you notice any new signs of structural defects in the above areas. If you have done so and they are still not taking action to remedy the problem, we might be able to assist you in making a claim.

Landlord responsibilities

It is your landlord’s responsibility to maintain and repair where necessary the following parts of your home’s structure:

  • Walls
  • Foundations
  • Doors and windows
  • Roof
  • Drains, gutters & pipes

If the damage is putting your health and safety at risk, the landlord should carry out repairs urgently. If the urgent work is done but associated damage has been caused to surrounding plasterwork and decorative finishes, the landlord should still repair these items but they don’t have to do these repairs straight away.

Your landlord should do everything they can to keep you safe in your home, but unfortunately this doesn’t always happen. If you have suffered as a result of your social housing landlord neglecting their duties, our housing team may be able to help you claim compensation.

Tenant responsibilities

As a tenant, you also have responsibilities. You, your family and /or your visitors must not damage the structure of your home, and if you do you must be prepared to pay for it to be fixed.

You also have a responsibility to tell your landlord about any structural defects or damage as soon as you notice the signs. For example, if you notice damp in your ceiling your roof might be damaged, so you should tell your landlord as soon as possible.

If you have made your landlord aware of the structural defects but they still have not carried out repairs, we can probably help you. However if you, your family and/or visitors have wilfully caused the damage, the costs of any such repairs will likely be recharged to you. We will send an expert out to assess the damage to your property, and then help you make a claim.

When you file a claim with us we will request for the necessary repairs to be carried out in your home, as well as seeking to get you the compensation you deserve.

Get started with your housing disrepair claim

Expert housing disrepair solicitors

Has your local authority or housing association allowed you to live in a property with structural instability? Has this led to other issues which have had a negative impact on your health and wellbeing? Our housing disrepair solicitors might be able to offer you expert help and advice.

We understand that structural issues may affect one or multiple rooms in your home, and may lead to you not being able to use these rooms. We also know that if structural defects have lead to other problems such as mould and damp, then your health and personal possessions may have been significantly damaged too.

If this is the case, we will send one of our experts out to your home to assess the level of the damage. We can then begin your claim, and will do our best to get the repair works conducted and to claim for associated compensation and losses. You have the right to a safe home environment. We want to help you if you are being denied that right.

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