Subsidence issues in social housing
What is subsidence?
Subsidence is where all or just a part of a property starts to sink into the ground. This puts strain on the building and often results in visible cracks forming. It can lead to visible structural damage to walls, ceiling and floors and can cause many other issues if nothing is done to prevent it getting worse.
Subsidence is often a result of multiple factors, such as:
- Very wet or very dry weather
- The type of soil the property is built on
- Nearby activity such as mining
- The age of the property
- Large plants or trees growing nearby
- Leaking or damaged drains
It may also be caused by serious or long term water leaks. Some common signs of subsidence you should be on the look-out for include:
- Cracks in external and internal walls which are more than 3mm wide, wider at the top than the bottom, close to doors and windows, and/or diagonal
- Doors and windows which stick because of warped frames
- Crinkles in wallpaper where it meets the ceiling
- Cracks where your extension joins your property
It is always worth knowing how to check for potentially serious issues like subsidence. If you have noticed any of the above signs, you should make your landlord aware of your concerns. If you have already told your social landlord and they haven’t taken action we might be able to help you claim for repairs to be carried out and get you compensated.
Other problems caused by subsidence
Subsidence can be a very serious problem which can lead to other damage. These issues are often what you might notice first and are what will have a noticeable impact on your life. We find that subsidence which leads to the following issues developing often have good grounds for claims:
- Broken doors or windows
- Damp and/or mould
- Structural defects, such as cracks and gaps in walls or broken roof and guttering
- Vermin or pest infestation as a result of broken walls
- Broken or uneven floors
All of these issues can be caused by subsidence, and can affect one or multiple rooms in your home. They can also have a negative affect on your physical and mental health. Our experts will be able to assess how badly subsidence has impacted you and your home, which will enable us to help you make a claim for compensation.
Under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, the Housing Act of 2004 and the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, your landlord has a duty to maintain your property’s structure. This means that your landlord is highly likely responsible for repairing and preventing subsidence in your home.
By law, your landlord is responsible for keeping the following in a safe state of repair:
- Windows and doors
- External walls
- The roof
- Drains, exterior pipes, guttering and water collection
- The foundation
Subsidence can cause the damage to the above and it can also develop as a result if any of these sections of your house are left damaged. For example, broken guttering can lead to excess moisture collecting in the foundations of your home, which can result in subsidence issues. That is why it is so important for your landlord to properly maintain your home and fix any issues to the exterior of the property when they arise.
If you are noticing any issues with your home you must make the landlord aware of this as soon as is possible.
If your social landlord has failed to carry out subsidence repairs and it has led to problems such as structural defects or damp and mould developing in your home, we may be able to help you make a claim.
For the most part, it is your landlord’s responsibility to repair structural issues like subsidence. However, if you have caused the damage which has resulted in a problem developing it will be up to you to pay for the necessary repairs.
You are responsible to monitor and report on all issues that arise in your home to your landlord as soon as you notice them. This allows your landlord to carry out repairs when they are needed and limits the chance of the problem getting beyond repair.
Once you have reported the problem, it is up to your landlord to arrange for it to be resolved. If they fail to do so and it gets significantly worse, we may be able to help you make a claim. Subsidence claims can result in your landlord being instructed to conduct proper repairs. You could be compensated for financial losses, inconvenience and upset and/or any injury that may have been caused to you as a result. However, you won’t be able to make a claim if you haven’t notified your landlord of the issues. You must first speak to your landlord and give them the opportunity to carry out the repairs.
Get started with your housing disrepair claim
How we help
If your home has been affected by subsidence or other disrepair issues, we can help you make a claim for repairs and compensation. All such claims are always handled on a no win, no fee basis.
After you get in touch and we have assessed your claim, one of our experts will visit your home and assess the damage, which will allow us to establish whether we can help. If we can, we will fight your corner to get the necessary repair work completed and to get you compensated for your suffering.
Starting the process couldn’t be more simple!
- Contact us Get in touch however suits you best and arrange a consulation with one of our solicitors
- Meet an expert You’ll meet the expert solicitor assigned to your case and discuss all the necessary details
- Authorise Once we’ve got all the details of your case and you’re happy to proceed, just give us the go-ahead
- We get to work It’s time for us to get to work! We’ll set up your file on our system and get to work right away
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