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Living with housing disrepair: How this can affect you
10 July 2023
Ellen Noke, a Litigation Executive in our Housing Disrepair department looks at the increasing cases of properties below living standards.
Within the media recently, it has been widely covered that many homes within the UK are below living standard. Many homes are affected by mould and damp, active leaks, rodent infestations and many more issues. Within Britain there are over 1 million houses that are below living standard with many of these properties being low-cost rental properties by council or housing associations.
Within the media it can often be portrayed that the reason for the disrepair within the properties is due to lack of funding provided by the government to the councils. However, for a lot of councils and housing associations this is not the case as some of the largest councils and housing associations have had their biggest turnover within the last financial year.
Living with disrepair – how this affects you
The general consensus between clients and people in the media is they are frustrated that landlords are being allowed to leave people living in such poor living conditions. They are wanting their landlord to take responsibility and to rectify the issue of the poor conditions however in most cases this is not happening.
As most of the properties affected by disrepair are low cost rental properties, the people usually affected are people who are in more of a vulnerable financial position. The media has recently reported that one third of people are spending more on their rent. They confirmed 42% of people spend between a quarter and a half of their monthly wage on rent and 17% of people spend over half of their monthly salary on rent. Meaning having additional funds in order to carry out repairs to a property is not an option.
Along with the frustration, the distress and inconvenience caused to people living in these conditions is immense. Many people are having to live in conditions that are not fit for human habitation which causes, stress, anxiety, sadness and creates concerns regarding potential health effects. Especially following on from the recent heart-breaking case of Awaab Ishak who sadly died as a result of the mould and damp within his home.
Within the media, it is not widely covered that there are options for people living in these conditions. There is legal advice that can be taken, and the housing ombudsman have a complaints procedure for houses in disrepair.
How we can help
We have a dedicated team at True Solicitors LLP who appreciate the frustrations and concerns for the people living in disrepair. We want landlords to take responsibility for the poor housing conditions and we want to help our clients achieve compensation for the distress and inconvenience they have suffered by living in these conditions.
Our main goal is to get your property back to liveable conditions. In order to do this, we have a lengthy discussion with our clients and note all disrepair within the property from mould and damp to leaks, to rodent infestations. We then look to instruct an independent surveyor who will advise on all disrepair in the property and advise on what action needs to be taken from the landlord to put the property back to a liveable condition.
TRUE believe anyone living in such poor conditions are entitled to receive compensation for the distress and inconvenience covered. The amount of compensation is based on a percentage of the rent paid between the time when the landlord ought to have been aware of the disrepair, up to the date which the landlord rectifies the defect. The percentage of recoverable rent varies, but in general, the greater the effect on the tenant and their family, the greater the award.
Our team of expert lawyers will be able to tell you whether you may have a case and can also advise you of the process should you wish to pursue a claim.
If you’re looking to make a claim call us on 0344 854 7000 to discuss your case, or submit your details below and we’ll call you back at a time convenient for you.