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By law, landlords are responsible for maintaining and repairing the structure and exterior of their property. This is according to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, the Housing Act 2004 and was most recently confirmed in the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018.
This means that under UK law your landlord has a duty to ensure that no structural defects result in further damage to your home and cause you to suffer. It is against the law for your landlord to ignore your requests for them to fix structural defects that are causing harm to you and/or your possessions. If the structural defect has been wilfully caused by the actions of you, your family and/or visitors, your landlord make seek to recharge the cost of any necessary works to you.
If your social landlord refuses to fulfil their duties and let the structural damage get to such an extent that you are unable to use one or multiple rooms in your home, we could help you make a claim.
Structural damage in defective properties may also lead to other problems such as water leaks or vermin and pest infestations. If this has happened in your home, we can help you to insist that the landlord complies with its repairing obligations and rectifies the structural damage so as to prevent the leak or pest infestation from continuing.
Our housing team could help you to make a claim for your suffering if your social landlord has neglected their legal duty to maintain and repair the structure of your property. The only situation in which it would be your responsibility, by law, to pay the costs involved in fixing structural defects is if those defects have developed because of damage you, your family or visitors have caused.
How much will it cost me to bring a Housing Disrepair claim?
We work on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ basis. If your claim is successful, your landlord will pay our reasonable fees. If your case is unsuccessful then we will not charge you.
In terms of any compensation you receive, we take a maximum of 35% from your compensation to cover our success fee. The cost of an After the Event Insurance Policy is also taken from any compensation you receive which is currently priced at £666.40. The main purpose of the claim is to force your landlord to carry out the repair work so any compensation that you receive on top of this is deemed a bonus by our clients.
How long will it take for my Housing Disrepair claim to settle?
Generally speaking, it can take between 6-12 months for your Housing Disrepair claim to settle. There is a Protocol in place that we must use to bring your claim and this sets out the time periods that both your landlords and ourselves must keep to. After the protocol ends we may need to issue court proceedings on your file if we have not been able to agree settlement. We therefore allow for a full 12 month period for the claim to settle although some claims settle much sooner than this. Sometimes it may take more than 12 months to settle a claim if the matter is very complex or there has been unforeseen delays.
How will I know what repair work will be carried out to my property?
As part of your claim, we obtain a Surveyor Report from an independent court-appointed expert. This Surveyor will attend your property and will prepare a report which sets out what disrepair is in your property and what repair work is necessary. We send this report to you and your landlords and any settlement agreement must allow for these repairs works to be carried out.
Who will pay for the repair work once settlement has been agreed?
Usually you have up to 3 years from when the accident occurred to make a claim.
For industrial disease claims, you have 3 years from when you realise that your symptoms are caused by a work-related illness, or when it is discovered by a medical expert.
How much compensation will I receive?
Your compensation will be calculated on a rent reduction basis. We will take into consideration how long you have been complaining to the Defendants about the defects (the ‘notice period’), how much monthly rent you pay and the level of inconvenience that you have suffered as a result of living in a house that is in disrepair.
If you have only suffered minor inconvenience then we would reduce your rent by 10-15% whereas if you suffered severe inconvenience then a reduction of 40-50% could be applied. In rare cases, the courts have awarded up to 80% reduction of rent for the most severe cases. Our helpful Rent Reduction Calculation can give you a general outline of the level of compensation that you might obtain.
Please note that there is a 6 year statutory limitation in place so you can only claim for the last 6 years that you have been complaining to your landlord for despite the fact that this time period may have been longer.
I am worried that my landlord may evict me if I bring a claim. Can they do this?
No, it is illegal for your landlord to evict you as a result of bringing a claim for Housing Disrepair. Generally speaking, the Housing Associations and Councils that we deal with understand the law and your rights.
Can I claim back the cost of damaged furniture, appliances and clothing?
Yes, you can claim back the cost of items that have been damaged as a result of living in a property that is in disrepair. The courts understand that damp and mould can ruin sofas, wallpaper, clothing and soft furnishings meaning that our clients have to either throw these items out and replace them or spend a lot of money on cleaning products to cover up the smell. Leaks within properties can also cause electrical items to become void meaning they also have to be thrown out and replaced. Sometimes clients have sentimental items that have been destroyed which can be difficult to value but we will work with you to outline the inconvenience that you have suffered as a result of this loss.
We ask that you provide as much evidence in support of these losses in terms of receipts and photographs in support of this loss.
Will I have a go to Trial?
Most of our claims settle prior to Trial. We will make every reasonable attempt to settle your claim with the Defendants prior to the matter going to Trial.
What is NO WIN, NO FEE?
It is an agreement that we will only charge for our service if we help you win your case. In the reverse, this also means that you will not have to pay us for our time if your claim is unsuccessful. The majority of personal injury claims we take on will be on a no win, no fee policy. This will be made clear to you when you bring your claim to us.
The no win, no fee system makes us affordable to all because there are no upfront costs to pay. Simply pick up the phone, tell us about the accident and we will assess whether we can help you with your claim or not.
At Driscoll Kingston Solicitors we can help you claim compensation for an injury which happened at work. Whether you were working as a full or part time employee, a self-employed contractor or a casual or temporary worker you are entitled to claim compensation. Every employer is required by law to have Employers Liability Insurance in place to cover employees involved in accidents at work. The compensation is usually brought against the Employer’s Liability Insurance company not the employer directly.
Driscoll Kingston Solicitors have a team of experts in this area who will guide and support you through the claims process. We understand that it can often be difficult to consider pursuing a claim for compensation from your employer and can feel intimidating even though you are entitled to claim compensation. Let us assist you through this complex procedure. Call us today and speak to one of our specialist solicitors who will explain the claims process and advise you on how successful your work accident claim will be. Driscoll Kingston Solicitors act on a no win no fee basis where possible, 98% of our Accident at Work Claims are on a no win no fee basis which means there is no financial risk to you.