Housing Disrepair Claims
What is housing disrepair?
Housing disrepair refers to a situation where a rented property requires repairs to ensure the safety and suitability of the tenants’ living conditions.
If you are a tenant residing in a rental property, it is the legal responsibility of your landlord to ensure the following:
- The structure of the house is in a satisfactory state of repair.
- The property is free from dampness and mold.
- The drains and gutters are clear and functioning properly.
- The heating system is operational.
- You have secure access to electricity, gas, and water.
- The sanitation facilities, such as toilets, basins, and sinks, are in working order.
- The property is free from infestations of vermin or insects.
When a rented property requires repairs or maintenance, if the landlord fails to address the issues within a reasonable timeframe after being notified by the tenant, it can be considered a case of housing disrepair.
What repairs constitute housing disrepair?
Housing disrepair encompasses a range of problems such as dampness, mold, condensation, leaks, drainage issues, both internal and external flooding (including the garden), brickwork that requires repointing, missing or loose tiles, structural cracks, infestation of insects and vermin, insufficient ventilation, boiler malfunctions, and the lack of running water, hot water, or heating.
The responsibility for addressing housing disrepair lies with the landlord, regardless of whether the tenant resides in a housing association or council-owned property as a social tenant or in a private rental property with a private landlord.
It is unacceptable for anyone to endure substandard living conditions. The introduction of the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation Act) ensures that repairs are now an integral part of the tenancy agreement, and any violation of this agreement empowers the tenant to pursue legal action.
In the initial step, it is crucial to inform your landlord about the issues affecting your property. If your home’s condition deteriorates to the point where it becomes unsafe or unsuitable for habitation due to neglected maintenance or repair needs, you may be eligible to file a claim.
Is my landlord responsible for disrepair in my property?
As a renter, it can be challenging to determine the party responsible for addressing various issues or carrying out repairs within your living space. Typically, your lease agreement should clearly outline the maintenance and repair responsibilities assigned to both the tenant and the landlord. However, the division of duties is not always as straightforward as solely attributing repairs, upkeep, or financial obligations entirely to either the landlord or the tenant.