Repair is the converse of disrepair. There must be disrepair before a landlord can be held responsible to repair it. Moreover, the tenant must have reported the disrepair to the landlord and the landlord must be given a reasonable period of time in which to carry out the requisite repairs. In essence, disrepair is the deterioration of something within a property. This change in quality could be physical damage to the exterior or interior, or infestation, plumbing problems, mould issues, or anything that prevents you from living normally in the rented property. Landlords have a legal duty to keep the structure, interior and exterior of a property in good repair and working order. A failure to do so is a breach of Section 11 Landlord Tenant Act 1984.
The obligation under the statutory provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act includes an obligation to carry out the decorative work required in order to preserve the defective item(s). The requirement to repair carries with it an obligation on the landlord to both make good and redecorate on completion of the repair works.
Who can claim and what are examples of issues you can claim for
If you rent your home and it is in disrepair, you can seek compensation for distress, discomfort, inconvenience and diminution in value of your rent. If you are tenant living in a rented property, your landlord is required by law to ensure:
If any of the above is an issue for you and your home, you may be eligible to claim compensation and force your landlord to carry out repairs.
The process is relatively straightforward and involves sending a letter to your landlord that complies with the Housing Conditions Pre-Action Protocol. The letter of claim will set out the disrepair items you have been complaining about, as well as confirming when you first started complaining about the disrepair. Your landlord is required to provide a protocol response within 21 days of receiving the letter of claim.
If the landlord is engaged in the process, the parties will then seek to instruct a building surveyor to provide a Housing Conditions Report. This repair will set out whether the items you complain of fall within the landlords repairing obligations and give an estimate of cost for completing the repair works.
if there is clear evidence you have been complaining about the disrepair, your landlord is required to pay you compensation for distress, discomfort and inconvenience.
We offer to deal with your claim on a ‘Conditional Fee Agreement’, also known as a “No win, No fee” arrangement. This means that if you lose your case, you will not have to pay our fees. If you win your case, your landlord will generally pay your legal costs.
In the event that your claim is successful, then we would deduct a contribution towards our legal fees, known as a “Success Fee”. We have capped our Success Fee at 25% of the compensation which you receive.
An insurance policy may be incepted at the outset of your claim, to protect you from having to pay your landlord’s costs in the event that your claim is unsuccessful. This will be discussed on a case by case basis before proceedings are issued. The majority of cases we deal with settle without the need to issue court proceedings.