A landlord is obligated to address disrepair in the home they are renting out within a reasonable time frame to maintain a safe and secure environment for tenants. Otherwise, a complaint can be filed against them for compromising the health—and even the lives—of their renters.
Aside from ensuring the health and safety of tenants, the landlord is also responsible for obtaining Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) that show the property’s energy efficiency rating. These certificates will contain data regarding the property’s energy use, as well as money and energy-saving tips.
There are slight differences between tenants’ rights for private renters and those of social housing renters. If you are privately renting a flat or house, you have a long list of rights that you should see on your tenancy agreement. This document must be co-signed by yourself and your landlord to ensure both parties agree to all the terms.
The rights of tenants are as follows:
- You can get back the deposit at the end of your rent term;
- You are allowed to know the identity of your landlord;
- You can always challenge any fees that your landlord charges you if you feel that these are excessively high;
- You have the right to be shown the property’s EPC that is rated between A and E;
- The landlord is not allowed to charge you with an unfair rent fee and cannot unjustly evict you from your rented home;
- If your tenancy is fixed-term of over three years, you must be supplied with a copy of your written tenancy agreement;
- Your landlord will need to notify you 24 hours before they can access your flat for any check-ups or repairs that need to be done;
- You are only required to pay the fees specified in the Tenant Fees Act; and
- The right to live in a home that is both safe and free from disrepair issues
Your landlord should take care of most of the major repairs in your rented home, unless the damages were caused by you or any member of your household. In general, they need to address any disrepair on walls, windows, doors, roofs, ceilings, wirings, pipes, gas and electrical appliances, and in bathrooms.
The purpose of a rented property is to provide a home fit for habitation. It should, therefore, be fit for purpose in relation to:
- There being a sufficient water supply,
- The sewerage and drainage systems are working perfectly,
- There are no vermin infestations,
- It is clean and free from any bacteria that can cause infections.
If you find any disrepair in your home, you must quickly report it to your landlord, complete with photos or videos of the area. Your landlord should respond within a reasonable period. If you live in social housing, the waiting time might be longer. It is best to call their housing department for proper documentation and to make sure your complaints reach the proper authorities.
The disrepair in your home can cause damage to your health and property. So, you can lodge a complaint for any harm to your health and belongings the disrepair has caused. You have to ensure your landlord does something about it.
Disrepair compensation claims for private rentals and social housing are almost the same. The only differences are that you could be speaking to a whole council under social housing conditions, and the process takes so much longer with multiple landlords.
What you can claim for
Housing disrepair compensation claims can come from the following damages that you, as a tenant, did not cause or make:
Damage to property
A leaking roof, mould, damp, and infestation can cause damage to your property. You can claim compensation for replacement of your damaged clothes, furniture, or any personal possession.
Mould, for example, can grow on linen you use for your bed, your curtains, and even your walls. This could be due to the dampness of your room’s atmosphere because of lack of building ventilation or a central heating system.
Deteriorating health or aggravated medical condition
Bad living conditions might impair your mental health or aggravate a pre-existing physical issue because of all the stress you are going through. The bacteria that float in the air due to the wetness can aggravate your condition if you have asthma or any other respiratory problem.
The lack of sleep and not being able to find a good spot to rest comfortably around your home can cause you some mental discomfort and emotional stress.
You could make an offer to your landlord and take charge of hiring a home repair company. However, you have to ensure they agree to deduct the expenses from your rent. Be sure to send copies of your receipts.
If your landlord believes that this is the best way for all the repairs to be addressed, they may agree with a payment plan moving forward. However, if all else fails, you can always file a disrepair compensation claim to ensure your home becomes safe and secure for you to dwell in.
Contact the housing disrepair experts at disrepairclaim.co.uk to get compensated for all the damage you need to claim for.