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Social Housing Claims Guide

By Lewis Cobain. Last Updated 14th March 2023. Welcome to our social housing claims guide. If you rent a social housing property from a council, Housing Association or commercial landlord and they fail in their duty to maintain your home which results in damage to personal property or your health, you and others in the household could be entitled to file social housing claims against a negligent landlord.

Welcome to our social housing claims guide.

Welcome to our social housing claims guide.

All social housing landlords have a duty of care under UK law to maintain their properties so they are safe for you to live in. Failure to adhere to the law which results in a property falling into disrepair and causes you to suffer harm could result in a claim for compensation.

Our guide explains everything you need to know about social housing claims. But, if you have any further questions, our advisors are here to help. Contact our team today for a free consultation:

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A Guide To Social Housing Claims

There are various providers of social housing namely local councils, Housing Associations and commercial organisations although to a lesser extent. Social housing provides low cost, affordable accommodation to the people who need it the most. Any increases in social housing rents are controlled and therefore kept to a minimum so that people can always afford to pay for their social housing accommodation.

All landlords, and this includes social housing landlords, must under the law maintain their properties to a reasonable and acceptable standard. The law also obliges landlords to carry out necessary repairs when needed to prevent putting their tenants are risk of developing any health issues as a result of disrepair in their properties and to avoid any tenant’s personal possessions being damaged beyond repair.

Once you have informed a social housing landlord of any problems in your home, they must respond within an acceptable period of time and carry out an inspection of the property before organising the necessary repairs. Should a social housing landlord fail to respond and as such not carry out needed work to make your property safe to live in, you can take the matter further by sending them a formal letter of complaint.

However, if there is still no response from your landlord and you feel that your health is suffering and your personal possessions are being damaged due to the disrepair, you should talk to a personal injury solicitor who would assess your case before advising you on the best way to proceed offering valuable advice not only on how to claim compensation from your landlord but also how to insist they carry out the repairs needed to make your home safe to live in again.

Please continue reading this social housing claims guide for more information. Alternatively, at Legal Expert, a personal injury solicitor would assess your case before advising you on the best way to proceed in filing a successful housing disrepair claim and how much you may be entitled to using our personal injury claims calculator. Call us today to find out more about social housing claims.

What Is Housing Disrepair?

Social housing must be maintained to an acceptable and standard and landlords must by law carry out necessary repairs after having been informed about any problems regarding housing disrepair within an acceptable time frame. The most common examples of disrepair reported in social housing accommodation are detailed below:

  • Cracks in external wall resulting in dampness and/or cold air to ingress
  • Rotten door and/or window frames resulting in an infestation of wood lice and water to ingress
  • Cracked and loose plaster on internal walls
  • Faulty or non-working gas boilers
  • Leaky pipes resulting in stains of walls and ceilings
  • Rotten floorboards resulting in them being dangerous to walk on
  • Faulty electric wiring
  • Loose roof tiles/slates resulting in draught and water ingress and dampness
  • Cracked/damaged sanitary fittings
  • Vermin infestation including rats and mice

Our team of social housing solicitors can assess your case before advising on the best way to proceed with your claim all the while respecting any personal injury claims time limit that may be associated with this type of housing disrepair claim.

When Could You Make A Housing Disrepair Claim?

Next in our social housing claims guide, let’s look at when you could be able to claim.

Urgent repairs must be carried out in a timely way and if a landlord fails to do anything to make right a situation that renders it unsafe for you to stay in a social housing property, you should then take the matter further. Formal complaints against social housing landlords can be filed for the following reasons:

  • They failed to deal with a repair
  • They were slow to respond and to carry out necessary repairs to your home
  • An inspection was carried out but then nothing happened
  • The quality of the repair was poor and unacceptable

At Legal Expert, we have years of experience when it comes to handling and filing successful housing disrepair claims, to find out how we can help you with your case, please contact a personal injury lawyer today.

Claiming Compensation From A Housing Association – Top Tips

When pursuing a claim, you will need to follow the pre action protocols for housing disrepair. This is to avoid going to court. As part of the pre action protocols, you will need to provide evidence. House in disrepair evidence could include:

  • Photographs of before and after repairs have taken place.
  • Video footage of damage occurring, such as water leaking from a pipe.
  • Medical records.
  • Receipts for any property you had to replace as well as photographs of the damage to personal property.
  • Copies of any emails you sent requesting repairs.

The above list is not exhaustive. When claiming compensation from a housing association, you may wish to seek legal advice. A lawyer specialising in housing disrepair claims could help you gather the evidence required to support your housing association compensation claim.

Call our advisors to learn more about what could be submitted as evidence when claiming compensation from a housing association.

Social Housing Claims – How Much Could You Claim For Disrepair?

If you suffered harm due to your home being in a poor state of repair, you may wish to know what you could receive in compensation. Housing claims for housing disrepair injuries are each going to be different. Therefore, we cannot give you an exact amount. However, we can provide examples.

Your claim may include both general damages and special damages. General damages compensate for the pain and suffering that you have experienced due to your injuries if your claim is successful.

Below, you can find some examples of guideline general damages awards taken from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG).

Health issueNotesAverage amounts paid out
AsthmaMild chest problems, colds, bronchitis and asthma. Tends to result from unfit housing. £43,060 to £65,740
AsthmaRelatively mild asthma-like symptoms.£26,290 to £43,010
AsthmaBronchitis and wheezing.£19,200 to £26,290
AsthmaChronic asthma causing breathing difficulties.£10,640 to £19,200
AsthmaMild to very severeUp to £5,150
Lung diseaseBronchitis and wheezing£20,800 to £31,310
Lung diseaseSlight breathlessness£10,640 to £20,800
Lung diseaseTemporary aggravation of bronchitis£2,200 to £5,320

Some claims may also include special damages. This is compensation for your financial losses caused by the harm or injuries you have sustained due to housing disrepair. It is likely that you will need to prove your expenses, such as by presenting receipts.

When claiming compensation from the housing association, you may be able to recover:

  • The costs of having your personal property repaired or replaced. For example, if your soft furnishings developed mould, you could claim back the cost of this.
  • Prescriptions and other healthcare expenses.
  • Loss of earnings, including any contributions to your pension that you missed out on due to time away from work.
  • Redecorating costs. If your landlord does not provide redecorating, you could recover the costs you spend on wallpaper or paint.

To discuss what costs you could recover based on your circumstances, please call our advisors. In addition, they could assess the eligibility of your claim. If they think you could have a reasonable chance of success, they could put you in touch with our No Win No Fee housing solicitors.

Why Use No Win No Fee Solicitors For Social Housing Claims?

When claiming compensation from a housing association, a solicitor could help you during the process by gathering evidence on your behalf. However, if you are concerned about paying a high upfront fee, hiring No Win No Fee solicitors for a housing association claim might benefit you as they typically won’t require an upfront payment.

A solicitor working under this arrangement will offer you a variation of a No Win No Fee agreement called a Conditional Fee Agreement. Usually, the agreement means any ongoing costs are covered during the social housing claims process.

Furthermore, you aren’t responsible for paying your solicitor’s fees if your claim is not successful. If your solicitor helps you successfully settle your claim, they’ll deduct a success fee from your settlement that is capped under the Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013.

Our specialist solicitors could work with you on the basis of a No Win No Fee. Firstly, our advisors will assess your case via a free consultation, before they potentially connect you to our expert legal team.

To get in touch with our advisors to find out more:

  • Calling for free on 0800 073 8804
  • Filling out our online claim form for a free call back
  • Speaking to an online claims advisor using our free 24/7 live chat service

Helpful Resources And Links

If you are looking for advice on social housing claims and how a No Win No Fee structure works, click on the link below:

No Win No Fee structures explained

To find out more about contacting your local Councillor about a social housing disrepair issue, please click on the link below:

Contacting your local Councillor

To find out more about your rights under UK law, please click on the link below:

The Landlords and Tenants Act 1985

Click the link above for full legislative details.

Further Related Guides

Other Useful Compensation Guides

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.