Council House Disrepair Claims Against the Council And Local Authority Compensation Specialists

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Council House Disrepair Claims Compensation Guide – How Much Can I Claim? How To Claim?

Updated by Max Malinga on 24th March 2020. Welcome to our guide on how to make a claim for housing disrepair compensation.

Your home is your haven and the place where you should feel safe and be able to relax and be in comfort. When you have either been at work all day or gone out somewhere nice for the day, it always feels like a relief when you finally come home and enjoy being in your own familiar surroundings. However, if your council house is in a state of disrepair, then this can have negative implications on your well-being and day to day life, for which you could be entitled to claim council house disrepair compensation.

housing disrepair compensation

housing disrepair compensation

If your home is owned by the council and you have reported any broken or damaged parts of the property that need repairing or any other problems such as damp or mould for example, then as your landlord, the council have a legal duty of care to make sure action is taken immediately to repair or rectify any problems.

If they fail to act in accordance with their responsibility as your landlord and do not take the necessary steps to make any repairs, then you may want to make council house disrepair claims.

This is when it can be helpful to contact a claims firm such as Legal Expert for free help and advice to give you the best possible chance of your claim being a success. Either call us on the number at the top of this page, contact us through our website or use the live chat feature on your screen.

We can confirm to you in what instances disrepair claims by tenants can be made and can even provide you with a compensation estimate. Moreover, please read on to learn more about how to make house disrepair claims.

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A Guide to Council House Disrepair Claims

Welcome to our council and local authority compensation claims guide.

If your council house is in disrepair and you have reported to the council the problems in your home, then as your landlord, they must take action to remedy these problems as soon as possible and make sure that the property is in good, safe condition for living in.

By failing to act upon any issues or problems with the property that have been reported, they will be in breach of their duty of care to you, their tenant. For example, if the house has a damp issue causing mould to grow indoors, this can have a detrimental effect on your health and so needs to be reported. The council should then ensure that damp proofing treatments are put into effect immediately to solve the problem. But, if they ignore the problem and/or fail to take the appropriate action to solve the problem and make it a safe living space, then they could be subject to council house disrepair claims.

However, claiming council house disrepair compensation can become tricky. If a problem has been reported and the council has taken necessary steps to solve it, but the problem still remains, then it could be argued that they are not liable as they have acted in accordance with their obligations as a landlord. In order to make a successful council housing disrepair compensation claim, liability needs to be proven. This is why disrepair claims by tenants can be difficult.

We have developed this guide to give you lots of useful information regarding making a council house disrepair claim. If you feel you may be entitled to compensation, have a read of the guide and then contact our social housing solicitors at Legal Expert for further help and advice.

Time limits for personal injury claims

As mentioned, if you’ve suffered an injury or illness as a result of housing disrepair that wasn’t your fault, you could be able to claim compensation for it. However, if you’re interested in making a personal injury claim, it’s important to be aware that there are certain time limits that could affect your eligibility for a payout.

In most cases, personal injury claims have a 3-year limitation period within which they can be made. This means that if you try to make legal proceedings after this time, you may not be able to claim compensation.

Some exceptions could be made to this time limit in cases where a claimant lacks the mental capacity to claim or is under the legal age to do so. In such cases, they could have a litigation friend make their claim on their behalf. Once a litigation friend is appointed, the usual time limit will come into effect, giving them 3 years to claim.

What are the Council’s Responsibilities to Tenants?

Before we look at how to make council and local authority compensation claims, let’s first look at what councils’ responsibilities are to tenants.

As your landlord, the council have a legal responsibility to ensure the property you are living in is in good, safe, living condition and are obliged to carry out regular maintenance checks and also to make sure repairs are made to any damages within the property or anywhere on the premises. Failure to do so could give you grounds to make council house disrepair claims against them.

The following should be maintained and repaired if necessary by the council, otherwise, they could be liable to pay you council house disrepair compensation for any damage caused:

  • Exterior areas – External walls, the roof and windows for example and also any structural issues that may arise.
  • Sanitary fixtures and fittings within the property such as toilets, sinks, baths, showers and also the relating drains, pipework and plumbing.
  • The Boiler – Boilers should be serviced regularly and any problems with heating and hot water solved immediately.
  • Any other gas appliances – As well as the boiler, over gas appliances such as heaters and fires, cookers and gas hobs for example, need to be serviced on a regular basis.
  • Electric – Wiring needs to be regularly maintained and if necessary replaced to ensure it is safe.
  • Chimney – If the property has a chimney, then the flue, pipes and ventilation need to be checked regularly.
  • Fire safety – All properties should have fire alarms fitted and serviced regularly.
  • For council property within a block such as apartments or flats, the council also have a responsibility to maintain access areas such as the communal entrance, hall, stairs and landings.

Can I claim for housing disrepair?

Now you’re aware of the council’s responsibilities, you may be wondering, “can I claim for housing disrepair?” Regardless of whether the council use independent contractors to carry out maintenance and repairs, or whether they use their own contractors, they have a duty to ensure that they carry out any works necessary to maintain safe living properties for their tenants.

The council is obliged to cover any expenses for maintenance checks and repairs on anything they are responsible for and should not get passed onto the tenants.

If you believe you have a legitimate reason to make a council house disrepair claim, then contact us at Legal Expert and we can discuss the circumstances surrounding your reasons to make a claim and advise you on the best course of action.

For more information on council and local authority compensation claims, please read on. Alternatively, if you’d like a free consultation about claiming council house disrepair compensation, please get in touch today.

What should I do if the Council are not maintaining my home?

In this section, we’ll look at some situations in which council house disrepair claims could be made.

If you need to report any problems with your council house that may need some repair work done, it is best to contact the housing department of the council in writing so that it is documented that you have reported the problem and therefore it can’t be their word against yours if there is any dispute.

Once the council has been advised of the problem, they should then take action within a suitable timescale to solve the issue and carry out any repairs needed. The cause of house disrepair will determine how quickly the council act. For example, a faulty boiler will be more urgent than a leaky tap. But whatever the problem, the council should ideally make contact with the tenant to inform them of their course of action and give a time frame of when the repairs will be carried out.

If the council fail to act, depending on what the issue is with the property, you could end up with possible damaged personal possessions, sustaining an injury or even suffer from ill-health. If this has happened to you, we would advise you to seek professional legal advice on what your rights are as a tenant and where you would stand in regards to claiming council house disrepair compensation.

Legal Expert is a panel of highly trained claims solicitors with a vast amount of experience dealing with disrepair claims by tenants. As such, we will be able to advise you on your next steps regarding making house disrepair claims. When answering questions like, “can I claim for housing disrepair?”, the answer is yes so long as you’re able to prove that the landlord has breached their duty of care to you.

What can I include in my housing disrepair compensation claim with the Council?

If you’re wondering how to make council and local authority compensation claims, you may also be wondering what you could include in your claim.

If you have decided to make council house disrepair claims, then you should be aware of the numerous things that you can claim council house disrepair compensation for if needs be. Some of these are:

  • Personal Possessions – If any of your personal things have either been damaged or destroyed as a direct result of the council not carrying out appropriate and needed repair work, then you may include these in your compensation claim so that you can replace them if possible.
  • House furnishings – If any of your furnishings such as carpets, curtains, sofas, other furniture etc have been destroyed or damaged due to a problem within the property such as a water leak or electrical fault fire for example, then again, you may include these in your claim so that they can be replaced.
  • Clothes and material items – Any clothing or other material items such as curtains, bedding etc that may have been spoilt due to damp conditions in the home or mould growth for example may be claimed for.
  • Damage to private property – If any of your private belongings have been ruined whilst repair work was being carried out, then you may claim compensation for these items.

As long as any of the above is a direct result of negligence by the council in their duties as your landlord, then you should certainly include them in your council and local authority compensation claims.

The compensation award amount from your council house disrepair claims will depend on various factors:

  • The type of repairs needed.
  • The length of time the property was left with the problem since it was first reported.
  • Whether the property was already in a state of disrepair when new tenants began renting it.
  • The severity of the issue with the house and the impact it has had on your day to day life, and the well-being and health of yourself and any family members that also may have been affected.

It is important to mention any health issues that living in a house of disrepair has caused. Proof that your health issues are due to the problem in your home will be needed. Keep records of any medical appointments relating to this as these can be helpful in backing up your claim.

If you are a bit confused as to what to include in your claim, just call us at Legal Expert and we can sort all of that out for you to make sure you are claiming for everything that you are entitled to. Disrepair claims by tenants can be complicated and so, if you have further questions, please contact us using the details above.

Council house disrepair compensation claims for personal belongings

You may wish to make council and local authority compensation claims for damage to your personal belongings.

If any of your personal belongings have been damaged or destroyed because your landlord, the council, failed to act upon their duty of care and carry out necessary repairs, then you can claim for them. This would include items such as clothing, bedding or furniture that may have been spoiled by mould or due to a water leak for example. The same applies to if any of your belongings have been damaged whilst repair works were underway.

In short, if your personal property is damaged or destroyed due to the council either neglecting their duty of care or whilst repair works organized by the council are being carried out, these are all things that could be included in your council house disrepair claims.

If you have already bought replacements for the damaged or destroyed items, include any receipts in your claim as proof of this so that you can claim back the correct amount for them.

Council house disrepair compensation claim for sickness

You may wish to make council and local authority compensation claims for subsequent illness.

If the council have failed to act upon their duty of care as your landlord and you or your family’s health has suffered, be it physical or mental, because needed repairs have not been undertaken, then you will be eligible to make a claim.

Make sure you have seen a medical professional, such as a doctor or GP, to have any health issues diagnosed and appropriate treatment prescribed. Not only is this important for your own health’s sake, but this will give evidential proof of your suffering.

Your council house disrepair claims settlement will depend on the type of repair work needed and the severity of its effect on your health and well-being, and for how long it had negative implications on your life. You can also include loss of earnings if you needed time away from work because of ill health, and also you can launch a care claim if you needed some sort of care due to the illness caused by the housing disrepair.

Council house disrepair compensation claims for inconvenience

You may wish to make council and local authority compensation claims for any inconvenience caused to you.

If you have been inconvenienced such as not being able to use your home as normal for example, then you may claim compensation for this. The reasons for your inconvenience may be because the council have failed to make repairs, or because your house has been disrupted whilst repairs have taken place.

The level of your compensation award you receive from your council house disrepair claims will be dependent upon the severity of the disrepair, the amount of rent you would normally pay, and the level of inconvenience you have suffered as a result. Successful disrepair claims by tenants involving them being rehomed temporarily can lead to a large amount of compensation.

Council housing disrepair compensation claims calculator

If you’re thinking about making council and local authority compensation claims, you may be wondering how much you could be entitled to.

Although on some negligence claims firms have online housing disrepair compensation calculators to figure this out, these actually can only give a rough estimate of how much you might get. Another question we often get asked is,’ how much is a claim for housing disrepair worth?’ This really is dependent on numerous factors and quite frankly, at this stage, no one could accurately give you an exact answer to this question as there are just too many possible variables.

However, we can show you some average compensation award amounts for council house disrepair claims, of which some may possibly relate to your own personal case. Below is a list of compensation brackets supplied by the Judicial College. These brackets have been built by analysing previous payouts in cases and comparing them to the severity of the injury.

Reason for CompensationAverage amount awardedComments
Less Severe Psychiatric Damage Generally£1,440 to £5,500Cases falling short of specific phobias
Moderate Psychiatric Damage Generally£5,500 to £17,900Marked improvement and good prognosis
Asthma£40,410 to £61,710Severe and permanent disabling asthma
Asthma£24,680 to £40,370Chronic asthma with breathing difficulties
Asthma£18,020 to £24,680Bronchitis and wheezing
Asthma£9,990 to £18,020Relatively mild asthma
AsthmaUp to £4,830Mild asthma or the like
Less Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder£3,710 to £7,680Virtual full recovery in 2 years
Mental Anguish£4,380Fear of impending death

If your particular issue is not listed in the table, don’t worry, just call us at Legal Expert and we will endeavour to help you as best we can.

No Win No Fee Council housing disrepair compensation claims

If you’re concerned about making council and local authority compensation claims, this could be due to the high cost of legal fees.

Here at Legal Expert, our social housing solicitors have lots of experience and specialise in dealing with council house disrepair claims. They work on a No Win No Fee agreement, otherwise known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

This simply means, as it suggests, that if we were to represent you and pursue council house disrepair compensation on your behalf but did not win, then you are not required to pay us anything for our fees at all, not a penny. This type of policy gives everyone who deserves to be paid compensation for suffering at the hands of a neglectful landlord, a fair chance to make a claim for the compensation they deserve without them having to worry about the financial implications of seeking legal help. With No Win No Fee, there are no hidden or upfront costs.

If however, we were to take on your case for you and win, we simply take this as a small percentage of your awarded amount. We are only legally allowed to take a small, legally capped percentage of your compensation amount, the rest will be yours. Again, no upfront or unexpected costs and so there is no financial gamble at all.

Why make your Council housing claim with Legal Expert?

Are you interested in getting legal help to make council and local authority compensation claims? Legal Expert is a team of highly experienced solicitors with a fantastic track record of successful claims, often managing to secure the maximum council house disrepair compensation amounts for their clients.

We are professional, friendly, honest and reliable and really put the needs of our clients first. We always work hard and do our best to make sure we have all avenues covered in regards to making council house disrepair claims so that we can be sure that we are putting up a good fight for our clients.

We understand that you may be under stress due to your landlord’s neglect and we will work quickly and efficiently for you so as to get you the compensation that you deserve as quickly as we possibly can.

Contact Legal Expert today

council and local authority compensation claims

council and local authority compensation claims

Want to see how Legal Expert can help you make council and local authority compensation claims? Do you have further questions about claiming, such as “how long does a housing disrepair claim take?”

For help and advice or a free consultation concerning council house disrepair claims, please call us today on 0800 073 8804.

Your call will be answered by a member of our team who can connect you to our No Win No Fee panel of solicitors that can find out the best course of action to secure you the council house disrepair compensation that you deserve.

Housing disrepair compensation FAQs

What is classed as housing disrepair?

Any damage that needs to be fixed is considered housing disrepair. For example, if something isn’t functioning as well as it should but it isn’t broken, such as a window that doesn’t shut properly.

Can I claim compensation for disrepair?

Providing that you suffered as a result of housing disrepair that a third party was responsible for, you could be entitled to claim compensation. Please get in touch today for a free consultation.

How much compensation can I get for housing disrepair?

Every case is different, so claims are valued on an individual basis. If you’d like a free estimate of how much you could be entitled to, please speak to one of our advisors today about your situation.

What damages could I claim for?

Personal injury claims for any damage you suffered as a result of your housing disrepair are categorised into 2 different parts; general damages and special damages. General damages cover physical or psychological harm, whereas special damages cover any financial shortfall, like loss of earnings.

How long does a housing disrepair claim take?

As mentioned above, every claim is different. However, if you choose to work with our panel of personal injury lawyers, they’ll do their best to secure you with the compensation that you deserve as quickly and effectively as possible.

What is the time limit for making personal injury claims?

Please note that the typical personal injury claims time limit is 3 years. Therefore, if you want to claim, you must do so within this limitation period, effective from the date of the incident in question or the date of knowledge.

How do I claim compensation for disrepair?

Please get in touch with Legal Expert to see if you could have grounds to make a housing disrepair claim. If we believe you have a valid case, we can connect you to a specialist solicitor to handle your case on a No win No Fee basis and ease the claims process for you.

Can I claim compensation from my landlord?

As established in this guide, answering questions like “can I claim compensation from my landlord?” depends on what the landlord has done and what you’re able to prove. If they have been deliberately negligent and failed to fix or remedy reported issues in a reasonable period of time, you may be able to make a claim for their negligence.

How can I contact Legal Expert?

For details on how to get in touch, please refer to the contact section earlier in this guide. In the meantime, you can use our live chat feature on your screen.

Useful Links

Legal Expert – Guide to making poorly maintained housing claims

This links you to another of our guides regarding what to do if the property you rent is in disrepair.

Legal Expert How To Claim Compensation Against the Council or Local authority?

Find out how you can claim against the local authority and get free legal advice.

Citizens Advice – Court action guide

This link will take you to the Citizens Advice website that has a lot of useful information on what to do if your council house is in disrepair, including advice on making council house disrepair claims.

Shelter – Housing advice

This is the link for ‘Shelter’. Again, there is a lot of useful information on actions you can take if your rented house is in disrepair.

NHS – Damp and mould

The NHS guide to damp and mould and how it can have a negative impact on your health.

Thanks for reading our guide on how to claim housing disrepair compensation.  If you have further questions about disrepair claims by tenants, please contact us using the above details.

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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.