Is Your Home in Disrepair?

If a landlord refuses to keep on top of their responsibilities, it shouldn't be us that feels the brunt of that. Many people out there are not treated fairly by their landlord. But some feel that if they complain, they will just be evicted.

Those people have rights that can protect them from such eventualities. They can make sure they can have the home they deserve. Let's dive deeper in to the finer points that you should be aware of.

Facts you should know

Your landlord has responsibilities to fix pre-existing issues with your house or flat. If an issue is caused whilst you are living in the property, it then depends on the nature of the issue and whether or not it was caused by you. Those whose landlords don’t fulfil their responsibilities may be entitled to claim for compensation:

  • Over 1 million private and social houses have serious hazards.
  • You can claim compensation if your landlord fails to make repairs within a reasonable time once reported. 
  • You can claim for; damage, financial loss, damage to health amongst other thing.
  • Depending on the amount of damage done, you may be entitled to up to your entire annual rent.
  • 525,000 social homes do not meet current national Decent Homes Standard, and of these 244,000 have a category 1 hazard. The highest risk level.
  • The charity Shelter published a report saying that 48% of those in social housing who complained about damage to their property felt that they were being ignored or not given sufficient help. Find more information from that report here.
  • 338,000 homes rented by those under 35 are deemed ‘likely to cause harm’

Housing DisrepairResponsibilities

There are different responsibilities depending on the circumstances of the housing disrepair. If damage is done to the property whilst you lived there, the rights will depend on what happened. But if an issue is pre-existing, you will definitely not be expected to put up with it. There are different rules depending upon the severity of the disrepair, whether it be a small issue or if it makes your property unlivable.

The Landlord and Tenant Act of 1985 says, ‘landlords of most tenancies must keep the structure and exterior of the dwelling-house in repair, and keep the installations in the dwelling-house for the supply of water, gas, electricity, sanitation, space heating and heating water in good repair and proper working order.’ The landlord can also been held for responsible for disrepair not within the terms of the tenancy under the Defective Premises Act 1972.

If you’ve spoken to the landlord and you’ve given them what seems like a reasonable amount of time to get the problem fixed, which obviously depends on what the issue is, you’re entitled to make a complaint. There are any number of resources that will allow you to make a claim through them. If the situation you’re living in is immediately hazardous then you can circumvent this process and move to another private rented home whilst works are being carried out. Please note that at no point are you entitled to stop paying rent. If the situation worsen and ends up becoming a claim or worse, those kinds of decisions about damages and the like will be made then.

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