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There are often many complex issues which contribute to a potential failure to keep a property in good repair.


As a Landlord, you make every effort to keep your property in good repair and your tenant happy. However, sometimes through no fault of your own, your property can fall into disrepair, and you as the Landlord could face a claim for Housing Disrepair.

 

Am I at risk of a Housing Disrepair Claim?

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:-

  • Broken or damaged windows or doors.
  • Inoperative electrical appliances.
  • Issues with heating or water
  • Damp claims
  • Mould claims
  • Ingress of water or water damage.

Housing Regulations

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.

Why Specters?

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.

How will my case be managed?

Our approach to these claims is as follows:

  • We will meet you on Skype or in person and agree an approach and give a preliminary advice on your prospects of successfully defending/ managing the claim.
  • We will then arrange witness statements and collect evidence.
  • We will review the history of your relations with the Tenant, look at possible defences and review the veracity of the allegations made against you.
  • We will arrange an inspection of the premises by an independent surveyor to assess what (if anything needs to be done) and to comment on cost.
  • We will assess the potential cost of the claim and advise you how to mitigate that cost and advise what aspects of the matter may be fought.
  • We will ensure that we preserve your position on future litigation by making a sensible offer at an early stage if we agree this is appropriate.
  • If the claim against you is not justified we will ensure it is fully defended.

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.

It is very important to act quickly in these cases. If you have received a “Letter Before Action” from a lawyer or any notice from the Local Authority, please contact us immediately and we will deal with this on your behalf.

You can call us on 0300 303 3629 or you can submit an online enquiry.

Use our quick online claim form, a member of our friendly legal team will be happy to help
Start your claim

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