Housing Disrepair: What you Need to Know

Your home should be a place where you can unwind and take it easy after a busy day. However, when there’s mould on the ceiling, water stains on the walls, and dodgy electrical wiring, it can be hard to relax!

A 2022 survey by the Mayor of London’s office showed that 15% of all social housing in London failed to meet the Government’s Decent Homes Standard. When it comes to social and council housing, there can be a lot of issues, which are made even worse when landlords refuse to help.

The good news? You can take action. In this article, we’re going to look at what housing disrepair is and how to file a claim.

What is housing disrepair?

Housing disrepair is when a council, social housing, or housing association property falls below an acceptable living standard.

It may be that the home isn’t secure, there’s a pest problem, or there are structural issues like subsidence.

In a rented property, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to ensure any problems are fixed in a reasonable amount of time, in line with the Landlord Tenant Act. However, in this scenario, the landlord has not taken appropriate action.

What is housing disrepair compensation?

If a landlord refuses to carry out essential works, you can file a housing disrepair claim.

If successful, the landlord will be forced to fix any problems, and you may even receive monetary compensation for any issues you have experienced.

What types of issues can I claim housing disrepair compensation for?

You can claim for a variety of reasons. We talk about these in more detail on our housing disrepair compensation page.

Can my landlord evict me for making a housing disrepair claim?

No, your landlord cannot evict you for making a claim against them.

Many tenants don’t want to make a claim as they worry their landlord will throw them out.

Your landlord is not legally permitted to evict you if you live in a council, social housing, or housing association property. However, bear in mind that they may try to evict you for another reason, for example, if you’ve not paid your rent.

It’s important to keep paying rent, even if you’re unhappy with your landlord, to minimise the risk of this happening.

How do I make a claim?

Before you make a housing disrepair compensation claim, you must have proof that you’ve reported issues to your landlord. You can do this by saving copies of emails, text messages, and letters, and logging times you’ve made phone calls.

We also recommend taking photos and videos of your property.

If you want financial compensation (for example, you’ve paid for repairs and want reimbursement), you will need to provide receipts and invoices. If you want to claim for illness and injury, you will need to provide doctor’s notes.

The more evidence you have, the better your case.

How much notice do I have to give to make a claim?

You can claim within six years of you first telling the landlord about the issue.

If you want to make a personal injury claim (for example, the mould in the property has given you respiratory problems), you must do this within three years.

However, it’s always best to make your claim as soon as possible.

I’ve now left the property. Can I still claim?

Yes. You can claim during or after your tenancy, as long as the claim is made within the timescales in the previous question.

How much money can I claim?

It depends.

If you’re claiming for inconvenience, this is generally calculated as a proportion of your rent. The rest of the money you will receive will vary depending on what you are claiming, such as damaged items or additional money spent on energy bills.

A legal specialist like SJS Legal will work with you to ensure you receive all the compensation you’re entitled to.

Your housing disrepair specialists

Let down by your landlord? You’re not alone. Our team of legal experts will work with you to get you the compensation you deserve.

Whether you’re experiencing mould and damp or living in a house that’s not secure, we can get you housing disrepair compensation.

We’ll be with you every step of the way and ensure the process is as stress-free as possible.

Contact us today, and let’s see how we can help.