As a Private Landlord, Housing Association or Local Authority, there are often many issues which contribute to a potential failure to keep a property in good repair.
You may have been let down by contractors or sub-contractors, tenants may have caused or contributed to the state of the property, or the tenant may have never reported the defects within the property to you effectively.
Extraneous issues such as the problems associated with the removal of cladding may have led to damp or mould, and this may have happened without your knowledge until you face a claim.
The most common areas of concern brought by Tenants include:-
The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 has imposed more significant statutory requirements on Landlords to ensure that the property is fit to live in at the commencement of the Tenancy and throughout its duration. The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) assists Judges in determining whether a Landlord has breached their contract.
This assessment of hazards undertaken by the Local Authority can lead to informal negotiation with you as a Landlord, formal enforcement action, or a suspended or emergency remedial action.
The costs associated with these types of action can be considerable if left undefended and the position can only escalate particularly if the Tenant is legally represented and/or has instructed the local environment health department which could also result in a fine payable by you as the Landlord.
At Specters we have experienced practitioners fully conversant with housing law who can advise you how to defend or manage actions brought against you to minimise cost.
It is important that the claim is investigated swiftly and that the correct advice is given on which repairs are necessary and which could be described as outside the requirements of the legislation.
You will need to know swiftly your risks and cost associated with pending litigation and what concessions and actions need to be taken and in what timeline.
If it unrealistic to complete repairs swiftly we will advise you how to seek more time and if appropriate arrange to mediate or compromise the action or litigate it if the claim is unjustified.
We will give you clear and unequivocal advice early in the proceedings and ensure the cost is controlled and managed from the outset.
We can arrange access to independent surveyors to give you and objective assessment of your property and to comment and analyse any expert evidence served on you by the Tenant.
Our approach to these claims is as follows:
If your tenant is breaching the terms of his lease or you wish to obtain possession under Section 21 or Section 8 we will advise you of the procedure for pursuing possession and take action on your behalf.