Angelus Law takes particular pride in its specialism in dealing with Housing Disrepair cases for tenants of local authority and housing association properties nationwide.
The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 sets out a minimum standard of repairing obligations which landlords of Assured Shorthold Tenants have to comply with in England & Wales. Furthermore, the Defective Premises Act 1972 and the newly introduced Fitness for Human Habitation Act 2018 impose further standards to ensure that rented properties are free from unsafe, unhealthy or harmless defects.
Despite these laws, landlords very often fail to comply with them and leave tenants living in damp, mouldy, cold and unsafe conditions leaving their tenants with no option but to take legal action.
Mid-way through 2018 Mr W came to Angelus Law seeking advice about problems in his property in Cheshire. The property has a long list of issues including blown windows leading to draughts throughout the property, broken and degraded plaster, unsecured door fittings and severe damp throughout the property. Mr W explained to us that he had been complaining to his housing association about these problems for some time and, in the case of the unsecured back door, since the outset of his tenancy in 2012.
Despite Mr W’s continued contact with the housing association (a key requirement before bringing any legal action), the property was left in a state of disrepair.
Upon taking on the case we took detailed instructions from Mr W before sending a Letter Before Action to the housing association detailing the items of disrepair, the attempts Mr W had made to get them to fix the problems and the consequential effects the defects were having on Mr W and his family’s enjoyment and use of the property.
The housing association responded shortly thereafter denying any liability for Mr W’s claim on the basis that, according to their records, they had no notice of most the issues complained about or, that works had been carried out to solve them. Despite this, the housing association agreed to a joint inspection of the property with our respective expert surveyors to investigate further. The experts duly reported back to us and confirmed that the issues Mr W complained about did require substantial works to rectify. We in turn argued that the disrepair was the landlord’s obligation to fix under the terms of the tenancy agreement and section 11 of the Landlord and Tenancy Act 1985.
After some negotiations, we were able to settle Mr W’s case with an agreement for the housing association to carry out the repair works within a 2 month period, and for them to pay Mr W compensation of £2,900.00 for the stress, inconvenience and loss of enjoyment of the property during the period of disrepair.