If your rental property is in disrepair, you should notify the landlord immediately and take photographs. If a repair is not carried out in a reasonable amount of time, or a repair is performed to a poor standard, then you should contact our housing disrepair solicitors for advice. You could be entitled to make a claim.
Housing disrepair solicitors – England and Wales
If your rental property has been left in a state of disrepair, contact us at Ashmans Solicitors for a free initial enquiry. We represent tenants across England and Wales. We can help you make a mno win no fee claim for your damages.
Here’s what to do if your rental property is in disrepair
No tenant should live in poor housing conditions. If your rental property is unsafe or unfit for human habitation, then your landlord has a legal responsibility to carry out a repair. This repair must be performed to an acceptable standard. If either of these things does not happen, then you could have grounds to take legal action against your landlord. This is known as a housing disrepair claim.
Before you take legal action, there are a few things you must do first.
1. Notify your landlord about the disrepair
A landlord cannot be held responsible for disrepairs that they do not know about. So, if there is a problem with your rental property, you need to tell your landlord about it straightaway. This is known as giving ‘notice of repairs’.
Ideally, you should communicate with your landlord via email or text message. That way, there is a written record of your request. If you speak to your landlord in person or over the phone, you can always follow up with an email or text message. This is important, as it might be needed as evidence later down the line. Otherwise, your landlord could say that you did not tell them about the problem, and it would be your word against theirs.
You should also tell your landlord about the issue as soon as you can. If you do not, then your landlord may argue that the delay contributed towards the problem.
2. Take photographs and gather evidence
Along with notifying your landlord, you should also take photographs of the disrepair. You should do this when you first become aware of the issue. Afterwards, you should continue to take photos on a regular basis, especially if there is a deterioration in your living conditions.
Keeps these photos safe, as we will probably ask to see them when you contact us for advice. You should also keep any other evidence that is related to the housing disrepair. For instance, have your belongings been damaged because of the disrepair? If so, take photographs. Or have you had to buy/replace items, or even find temporary accommodation? Then keep the receipts and a record of your financial losses.
Sometimes housing disrepair will actually cause a personal injury, be it physical or emotional injuries. If this has happened to you, then it can be useful to keep a diary of your symptoms.
3. Wait a ‘reasonable’ amount of time
Your landlord is allowed a ‘reasonable’ amount of time to carry out a repair. There is no set definition of a reasonable amount of time. However, if your landlord has not done anything after 21 days and the repair is urgent, then you should contact our solicitors.
For non-urgent repairs, a reasonable amount of time might be two to three months. If a repair still has not been carried out after this time, then you should contact our solicitors. This also applies if a repair is performed to a poor standard, meaning the property remains unsafe or unfit for human habitation.
As frustrating as it might be, you have to give your landlord a reasonable amount of time to fix the issue. We can advise whether a reasonable amount of time has passed.
4. Contact our housing disrepair solicitors
If you think your rental property is in a state of disrepair – and you have notified your landlord and waited a reasonable amount of time – then please contact us. We are specialist housing disrepair solicitors and can help you.
As a tenant, you have the right to live in a property that is safe and meets certain standards. If your landlord refuses to fix a disrepair, then you can take legal action to remedy the issue. This is called a housing disrepair claim. The court can order your landlord to carry out a repair. You may also be given compensation to reflect your injuries, inconvenience and damage to your personal property.
We offer a free initial enquiry, so you can find out what your options are without having to worry about the cost. Call us on 0333 009 6275, email email@example.com or complete our Free Online Enquiry Form and we’ll be in touch soon.
5. Continue paying your rent
Even if your rental property is in a state of disrepair, you must not withhold your rent. If you fall into rent arrears, then your landlord could actually issue a counter-claim and evict you. They would be within their right to do so, as you have broken the terms of the tenancy agreement.
We know this seems unfair, as you should not have to pay to live somewhere that is unfit for human habitation. However, by making a housing disrepair claim, you can recover your rent in your settlement. You will also be awarded compensation for your other damages, such as your personal injuries and financial losses. In the meantime, you should continue to pay your rent in full.