Council House Disrepair Claims Compensation Guide – How Much Can I Claim? How To Claim?
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 a relief when you finally come home and can just ‘switch off’ 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.
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 to their responsibility as your landlord and do not take necessary steps to make any repairs, then you may want to claim for housing disrepair compensation. 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.
Select a Section
- A Guide to Council House Disrepair Claims
- What are the Council’s Responsibilities to Tenants
- What should I do if the Council are not maintaining my home?
- What can I include in my housing disrepair compensation claim with the Council?
- Council house disrepair compensation claims for personal belongings
- Council house disrepair compensation claim for sickness
- Council house disrepair compensation claims for inconvenience
- Council housing disrepair compensation claims calculator
- No Win No Fee Council housing disrepair compensation claims
- Why make your Council housing claim with Legal Expert?
- Contact Legal Expert today
- Useful Links
If your council house is in disrepair and you have reported to the council of 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 a 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 sued for council house disrepair compensation for your suffering.
However, council house disrepair claims 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.
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 through the guide and then contact our social housing solicitors at Legal Expert for further help and advice.
As your landlord, the council have a legal responsibility to ensure the property you are living in is in a 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 would leave them open to being sued for housing disrepair damages compensation by you, their tenant.
The following should be maintained and repaired if necessary by the council:
- 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 needs 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.
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 thy 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 to take.
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 and they try to claim the problem hadn’t been reported. 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. Depending on 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 seek professional legal advice on what your rights are as a tenant and where you would stand in regards to making housing compensation claims.
Legal Expert is a panel of highly experienced claims solicitors and will be able to discuss your case with you and offer help and advice on what the next steps are that you need to take in order to get the council to fulfil their responsibilities as your landlord, and to also get you the compensation you deserve.
If you have decided to make council house disrepair claims, then you should be aware of the numerous things that you can claim 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 compensation claim.
The compensation award amount 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.
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, you will be entitled to include them in your council housing 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.
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 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 claim award 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 house disrepair.
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 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.
So, how much compensation for housing disrepair? Although on some online claims firms websites you may be able to use a housing disrepair calculator to figure this out, but 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 of which some may possibly relate to your own personal claim.
|Reason for Compensation||Average amount awarded||Comments|
|Less severe psychiatric damage||£1,350 - £5,130||The amount awarded will be dependant upon how the claimants day to day life has been affected due to stress worry, anxiety and lack of sleep as a result of their landlords neglect.|
|Chronic Asthma||£23,050 - £37,710||Breathing difficulties and frequent use of an inhaler from time to time. Symptoms being made worse due to damp and mould.|
|Bronchitis and Wheezing||£16,830 - £23,050||Caused by damp and mould, recovery expected after a few years of being exposed to the cause.|
|Relatively Mild Asthma||£9,330 - £16,830||Relatively mild symptoms brought on by inhaling irritating vapour such as damp and mouldy air.|
|Mild Asthma||Up to £4,520||Mild bronchitis, colds and chest problems brought on by being in infit housing such as those with damp and mould issues.|
|Minor Injuries||Up to £550||Full recovery expected within 7 days|
|Minor Injuries||£550 - £1,090||Full recovery expected within 28 days|
|Minor Injuries||£1,090 - £1,950||Full recovery expected within 3 months|
|Loss of Earnings||Up to £400,000||The award will depend on the claimant's current pay grade, earnings already lost and potential earnings to be lost as a direct result of the neglect of the landlord.|
If your particular issue is not listed in the table, don’t worry, just call us at Legal Expert and we will endeavor to help you as best we can.
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 file your claim 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, although we would then require payment, we simply take this as a small percentage of your awarded amount. We are only legally allowed to take up to 25% of your compensation amount, the rest will be yours. Again, no upfront or unexpected costs and so there is no financial gamble at all.
Legal Expert is a team of highly experienced solicitors with a fantastic track record of successful claims, often managing to secure the maximum payout 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 a Council house disrepair claim 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.
For help and advice or a free consultation, call us today on 0800 073 8804. Your call will be answered by a member of our team who can put you through to our housing disrepair solicitors No Win No Fee so that you can discuss your case and find out the best course of action to take.
This links you to another of our guides regarding what to do if the property you rent is in disrepair.
Find out how you can claim against the council and get free legal advice.
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.
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.
The NHS guide to damp and mould and how it can have a negative impact on your health.