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How To Complain To The Council About Housing – A Guide To Complaints Against The Council About About Housing

How To Complain To The Council About Housing Disrepair And Associated Problems

If your council property has fallen into disrepair and your local council has failed in their duty to carry out necessary repairs resulting in your health being negatively impacted and your personal possessions damaged beyond repair, a Legal Expert personal injury solicitor can explain how to complain to the council housing department that handles maintenance.

Council landlords like all landlords under the law must keep their properties in good condition and to an acceptable, liveable standard to ensure tenants are kept safe in their homes. Should a landlord ignore a report that relates to social housing disrepair and you fall ill as a result of their negligence, you would have every right to take the matter further and you have several options open to you.

To find out more about how to complain to the council about housing, please click on the Select a Section below:

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A Guide To Complaining To The Council About Housing

how to complain to the council housing

Badly maintained council property

All council housing must be kept in good condition and repairs carried out by local councils when necessary. The Landlords and Tenants Act 1985 section 11 clearly stipulates that it is the responsibility of all landlords to keep their tenants safe in their homes. Details of a landlord’s responsibilities are outlined in your tenancy agreement and even if some are not, under the law, there are specific repairs in social housing that fall under a landlord’s responsibility.

Should a council landlord fail to keep you safe in your home and your fall ill or an existing condition becomes worse as a result of the housing disrepair, you could be entitled to file for compensation for your pain and suffering. Should your personal possessions be damaged beyond repair due to housing disrepair involving mould and dampness in your council home, you would be entitled to claim the cost of replacing the items.

This guide on how to complain to the council about housing takes you through the procedures typically associated with making a claim against a council landlord and provides valuable information about the sort of documentation and evidence needed right through to how much you may expect to be awarded when filing a claim using our disrepair compensation calculator.

What Is Council Housing?

At Legal Expert, we are often asked “is social housing council housing?” and the answer is yes, it is. Councils as well as Housing Associations and some private organisations provide social housing to people who are on low incomes. Social housing provides affordable housing to the people who need it the most.

Rents for social housing are strictly regulated so that people can afford to pay them and as such rent increases are kept to a minimum. Local councils and other landlords have a duty of care under the law to maintain their properties and to carry out necessary repairs when needed to ensure that their tenants are kept safe from harm.

If you live in a council property and feel that your landlord is letting you down because they failed to carry out necessary repairs to your home having been informed of them, you should discuss your situation with a personal injury lawyer who would assess your case before offering you advice on the best way to proceed with your complaint and compensation claim.

What Is Housing Disrepair In A Council House?

Housing disrepair in council properties can encompass many things whether it’s a broken sink, leaking pipes, rotten window and door frames or crack in walls, ceilings, roofs and dangerous floorboards and stairwells. Council landlords under the law, must maintain boilers, electrical wiring and sanitary pipework and to carry out repairs when necessary.

Once a council housing department has been informed of any disrepair concerns you may have, they are obliged to investigate the matter further by carrying out an inspection of the property before necessary repairs to put problems right are completed.

Failure to inspect a council property and not to maintain it to an acceptable standard which puts you at risk of developing an illness and/or having your personal possessions damaged beyond repair, would entitle you to take the matter further by either contacting your local councillor, the ombudsman or a personal injury lawyer who would walk you through the process of filing a housing disrepair claim against them.

To find out more about how to complain to the council housing using the correct council complaints procedure, please contact Legal Expert today.

When Might You Need To Make A Complaint To The Council About Housing?

Local councils have a duty of care under the Landlords and Tenants Act 1985, Section 11 to ensure that social housing is maintained to an acceptable standard. They are also under the law, responsible for carrying out any needed repairs to ensure you, as a tenant are kept safe from harm in your home. Should a council landlord fail in their duty, you could be entitled to claim housing disrepair compensation from them.

Should you home fall into disrepair through the negligence of a council landlord and you fall ill as a result and/or your personal possessions are damaged whether slight or beyond repair, you have every right to contact a personal injury solicitor and take the matter further so you receive compensation for your pain, suffering and damage caused to your property due to the negligence of a council landlord.

If you feel you have a case, please contact Legal Expert today and we will assess your claim all the while respecting the personal injury claims time limit that is typically associated with this type of claim.

Complaints About Repairs And Maintenance

Local council landlords are legally obliged to maintain social housing to an acceptable standard and must carry out necessary repairs when needed. There are specific repairs that all landlords are obliged to carry out on social housing properties which are typically detailed in your tenancy agreement. These are explained in the Landlords and Tenants Act 1985, Section 11 as follows:

  • Landlords are responsible for maintaining the structure and exterior of a property which includes walls, foundations, roofs, drains, guttering, external pipes, windows and external doors
  • Landlords are responsible for ensuring that basins, sinks, baths, toilets and pipework is kept in good working order
  • Landlords are responsible when it comes to maintaining and repairing water and gas pipes as well as electrical wiring, water tanks, radiators, gas fires, boilers, fitted electric fires and/or heaters

A landlord cannot get out of these responsibilities no matter what is stated in a tenancy agreement and they cannot refuse to pay for the cost of needed repairs.

It is worth noting that for tenancies that started on or after 15th January 1989, a landlord’s responsibilities also extend to all common/shared areas of a building which includes hallways, lifts, entrance halls and stairways.

For tenancies that began before this date, the law does not state that common parts of a home are the landlord’s responsibility. However, under the common law which has been established by courts over several years, landlords are still responsible. It is also worth noting that under Section 11 of the Landlords and Tenants Act 1985, you must have informed your council landlord about any housing disrepair and allow them enough time to respond before carrying out the necessary repairs in an acceptable time.

Complaints When Leaving Your Home Or If The Council Caused Damage

Should the repairs needed to make your home safe again be major, the chances are you would have to vacate your home while the necessary work is being carried out. If this is the case, the council is responsible when it comes to finding you alternative accommodation and they are also obliged to pay for it too.

Your council may also need to pay your moving costs together with any inconvenience this causes you.

Should the damage to property have been caused by routine maintenance or building work carried out by the council, they are obliged to pay for the damage.

Should the necessary repairs to your home be disruptive to your everyday life, you could be entitled to a reduction in your rent for the inconvenience the work caused you and other members of a household.

If you had to move out of your council home due to major work being carried out and feel that the work was substandard, a Legal Expert personal injury solicitor can assess your case before advising you on how best to proceed in filing a complaint against council staff.

Keep Records Of Problems With Your Property

You must keep copies and records of all your correspondence with your council landlord. You should also hold on to all evident pertaining to the needed repairs as well as any work that has already been done to put things right. These records provide essential evidence and help support your case when filing a complaint against your council landlord. The records you must keep are detailed below:

  • All correspondence between yourself and your council landlord which includes emails and letters
  • Records of all phone calls to the council about housing disrepair
  • Photos of the housing disrepair that is causing you concern
  • Records that a landlord or their contractor failed to carry out the necessary repairs
  • Medical and hospital reports detailing the health issues you suffered as a direct result of housing disrepair
  • Receipts for out of pocket expenses you incurred due to housing disrepair – the cost of replacing personal possessions/property due to mould damage

To speak to one of our personal injury solicitors about a council housing disrepair issue, please call us today and we will offer advice on the best way to proceed with your personal injury claim against a council landlord.

Report The Problem To Your Council And Give Them Time To Address Them

Having reported a housing disrepair issue to your local council landlord it is then customary to allow them enough time to organise an inspection before carrying out any necessary repairs to your council home. Many tenants ask us “can you withhold rent for repairs?” and the answer is no, you must continue to pay your rent even if the necessary repairs are not carried out on your home. Should you not pay your council rent, eviction proceedings may be taken out against you.

To speak to a specialist personal injury solicitor about how to complain to the council housing, please contact Legal Expert today. We provide an initial, no obligation consultation free of charge and would work with you on a No Win No Fee basis should you wish us to represent you with your claim.

Check And Follow Your Council’s Complaints Procedure

All local councils have their own complaints procedures which can be found in tenants’ handbooks or on the council’s website where you will the council complaints number listed too. However, most complaints to the council are handled by a central department which is typically listed under customer services.

You may have to contact a housing department when making a complaint against your council landlord. The typical complaints procedure involves the following:

  • Completing a complaints’ form online
  • Submitting a complaint by email, letter or by phone
  • Keeping all records/copies of all the documents/correspondence you have with the council

If you choose to make a complaint by phone, you must make a record of what was said and note down the name of the person who took your call as this may be needed later should you wish to take the council to court or seek the professional advice of a personal injury lawyer.

Once you have informed the council of your concerns, they have a duty to follow up your complaint. It is usual for a different council officer to investigate the complaint than the person you initially contacted. As such, you may need to provide more in the way of information/evidence of the housing disrepair to them. The council will then make a final decision before letting you know how they came to it. Should you not be satisfied, you are perfectly entitled to take the matter further by doing the following:

  • Contact your local MP or councillor
  • Contact the Housing Ombudsman

To discuss your case with a Legal Expert personal injury lawyer who is in the best position to assess your claim before advising on the best way to go forward, please give us a call today.

Complaining To The Environmental Health

If you feel that your home is not being maintained by your local council and your health is suffering as a result, you have every right to contact the environmental health department and request that they inspect the property to identify any health and safety issues due to housing disrepair.

If is found that there are problems in a council property, Environmental Health could make sure that your council landlord is made aware of the problems before offering the relevant housing department the necessary advice on how to improve the living conditions of your home.

It is also worth noting that any reports issued by environmental health are essential evidence when filing for housing disrepair compensation from your local council or when you make a formal complaint against them.

To find out how a Legal Expert personal injury solicitor can explain how a council complaints procedure works and how best to proceed with a personal injury claim of this nature, please contact us today.

Taking Your Landlord To Court For Housing Disrepair

Providing you informed the council of the housing disrepair that is causing you concern and they failed to respond or they carried out the necessary work and you deemed it to be substandard, you could take your council landlord to court. It can be a long, drawn out and time consuming legal procedure, but a court may order a council landlord to do the necessary repairs to make your home habitable again.

It is worth noting that if you are on benefits or you have a low income, it could mean you would be entitled to legal aid which you can find out by contacting the following GOV.UK legal aid checker. It is also worth noting that minor repairs to council properties can be covered by what is known as the “right to repair scheme”. If the minor repairs are not carried out in a timely manner, you may be entitled to file a claim for compensation although this is typically a small amount.

If you would like to know more about taking a council landlord to court, please contact a Legal Expert personal injury lawyer who will walk you through the process before advising you on the best way to proceed with your claim and inform you on how to complain to the council housing and which department addresses this type of claim.

Council Housing Complaints And Disrepair Compensation Claims Calculator

The compensation amounts shown in our personal injury claims calculator below provide an idea of how much you may be awarded. The figures are based on the Judicial College guidelines and on amounts awarded on successful personal injury claims in the past. With this said, every personal injury claim is unique and as such, the amount you may receive may differ from the amounts indicated in our table.

Health issueNotesAverage amounts paid out
AsthmaMild to very severeA few hundred pounds to £57,620
Lung diseaseMild to very severe life changing conditions£1,760 to £108,370
Minor health issuesSlight to mild conditions where recovery is achieved in a number of weeksA few hundred pounds to £2,150
General inconvenienceDiscount on rentUp to 50%
Moving costsAwarded if you have to vacate your property during major repairs100% of the cost of moving
Care claimIf illness requires you to have daily assistance

There are certain things that can be included in your personal injury claim against a council landlord so you receive the level of housing disrepair compensation you rightly deserve whether it’s because your health and well-being were negatively impacted and/or your personal possessions were damaged beyond repair. These are detailed below:

  • Medical expenses which are not covered by the NHS
  • Care claim should you need assistance as a direct result of health issues you suffered due to council housing disrepair
  • Damages to your furniture whether slight or beyond repair
  • Expenses incurred to buy and replace damaged furniture
  • General inconvenience
  • Rent abatement – should you not be able to live in your rented property until repairs are completed
  • A reduction in rent where applicable
  • Loss of earnings if your illness prevents you from working
  • Loss of projected earnings, if your illness/injury is so severe you are unable to work

To find out more about a council complaints procedure, please speak to a Legal Expert personal injury lawyer today.

No Win No Fee Complaints And Action Against The Council

At Legal Expert, we work with you on a No Win No Fee basis and once you sign a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) we can begin work on your case without asking for an upfront fee for a personal injury solicitor to do so. You would not have to find any ongoing fees either. The only time you need to pay for our legal representation is when a Judge rules in your favour and awards you the level of compensation we have fought for.

All our fees are deducted from the amount a court awards you, bearing in mind that in many personal injury claims, a defendant chooses to settle a case before it even goes to court. Should your claim be unsuccessful, you would not have to pay a Legal Expert personal injury lawyer anything for the legal services they provided.

Call us today to find out how we can help you file your personal injury claim and which council complaints department would need to be contacted when making a housing disrepair claim.

How We Can Help You Complain To The Council About Housing

Our team of personal injury lawyers have years of experience and have worked on many successful housing disrepair claims for clients in the past. We offer valuable information on how to complain about council housing and what documentation is needed for your claim to be successful.

We provide legal representation on a No Win No Fee basis which allows you to concentrate on your daily life without worrying about how to pay for the much needed legal advice. Our no obligation, initial consultation is free of charge and it allows us to ask relevant questions about your case while at the same time providing you with an opportunity to ask a personal injury solicitor any questions you may have about how to complain about council housing disrepair.

We keep our claims lines open Monday to Friday from 9am to 9pm and a personal injury lawyer is ready to discuss your case before they offer essential legal advice on how best to proceed when filing your personal injury claim against a negligent landlord.

Legal Expert is covered by The Law Society as well as the Solicitors Regulations Authority (SRA).

Call us today to find out more on how to complain to the council housing department and what procedures you have to follow when doing so.

Contact Legal Expert Today

A Legal Expert personal injury solicitor is ready to take your call on 0800 073 8804 and our claims lines are open Monday to Sunday 24hrs.

You may prefer to request a “call back” and all you have to do is fill out the form for a personal injury lawyer to phone you back to discuss any queries or questions on how to complain to the council housing.

To send us an email please do so at info@legalexpert.co.uk and a personal injury solicitor will reply to all your questions promptly Monday through to Sunday.

Useful Links

If you would like to find out more about how a No Win No Fee structure can help you claim the compensation your rightly deserve, please click on the link below:

How a No Win No Fee structure works

Need to know more about how a personal injury solicitor can help you file a council compensation claim, please click on the link below:

Council compensation claims

To find out more about your council landlords maintenance responsibilities, please follow the link shown below:

A landlord’s legal responsibilities

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