If you are a tenant living in rented accommodation, whether that is from a private landlord, housing association or local authority, your landlord has an obligation to maintain the structure and exterior of the property to a reasonable standard (Section 11 Landlord and Tenant Act 1985). In addition, they must also properly maintain gas supplies, water, electric and heating. Maintenance of the garden is not included in this obligation unless stated in your tenancy agreement, but maintenance to pathways allowing access to the property are included.
Your landlord has a duty to carry out regular maintenance and repairs to the property within a reasonable timeframe after you have made a complaint about any issues. The timescales allowed are dictated by what is defined as ‘reasonable’. As an example, it would be reasonable to wait 28 days for a leaking tap to be fixed, but wholly unreasonable to wait the same period for the heating to repair in the middle of winter.
Claiming Compensation from Your Landlord for Housing Disrepair
If your landlord does not carry out repairs in a ‘reasonable’ timeframe or to a “reasonable” standard then they are in breach of contract and you would be entitled to pursue the landlord for compensation and to an order from the county court for rectification work to be carried out. Our team of experienced housing law solicitors have successfully dealt with a number of case of this nature, ensuring that landlords fulfil their legal obligations to tenants and obtaining compensation for negligence where applicable.
Your Landlord’s Responsibility to Repair Damage
Although the specifics of a tenancy agreement will vary, your landlord must ensure that your accommodation is kept in a liveable and safe condition.
You landlord will have responsibility for:
- Ensuring the boiler is working properly and is safe
- Carrying out structural repairs
- Maintaining the roof and plasterwork
- Repair leaks
- Rectifying areas of damp and mould, and tackling the cause
They may also have a responsibility for maintaining white goods such as washing machines, fridges and ovens, as well as garden maintenance to the point of allowing safe access to the property and garden.
Examples of disrepair include:
- Rising and penetrating damp
- Wet and dry rot
- Broken sewerage
- Damaged or exposed wiring
- Gas and water leaks
- Defective central heating
- Insufficient security to the home
Injury as a Result of Housing Disrepair & Landlord Negligence
We understand that the deterioration of living conditions can seriously affect the quality of your life. If you have been injured as a result of poor maintenance to the home, developed an illness or had the conditions of an existing illness exacerbated by the living conditions of your rented home then you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation (Section 4 Defective Premises Act 1972).
Examples of Health issues caused by a poorly maintained home:
- Aggravated Asthma
- Upper respiratory tract infections
- Anxiety and depression
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Carbon Monoxide poisoning
- Trips and falls on poorly maintained stairs and carpets
What Should You Do If Your Landlord is Refusing to Maintain Your Property?
- In the first instance you must always give your landlord the opportunity to fix a problem. Ensure that you report the issues to your landlord as soon as you become aware of them, preferably in writing.
- Keep a copy of any letters that you send, note details of any telephone conversations, emails and take pictures if applicable.
- If you landlord fails to respond or to act in a timely manner (remembering the rules of ‘reasonableness’) then send them a reminder, this time advising that you will be seeking legal advice. Again, do this in writing and keep copies.
- Seek early guidance from a specialist housing disrepair solicitor if your landlord is being uncooperative
What will Carter Law Do to Help?
If you have reported the issues to your landlord and they have failed to respond or rectify the matter in a reasonable timeframe and to an acceptable standard, Carter Law will help you obtain a court order forcing them to carry out the required work. We will also assess your claim and any injuries to evaluate whether you are entitled to claim for compensation.
Should you have suffered injuries, or an existing health condition has worsened as a result of the negligence of your landlord, housing association or local authority, we will be able to assist you in seeking compensation. You can expect to receive compensation not just for the injuries that you have suffered, but also subsequent for loss of earnings, and damage to goods and property.
Speak with a Housing Disrepair Solicitor
If you have maintenance that needs to be carried out in your rented property, yet your landlord is being uncooperative or unreasonable, then do not hesitate to contact Carter Law today to arrange a consultation with a specialist housing disrepair solicitor who will be able to offer you impartial guidance on how to proceed.
To book a consultation with a housing law
solicitor, please call us on 0844 414 0667