Often known as Housing Disrepair Compensation, what can also be described as Homes in Disrepair Compensation is a financial pay-out (or other award) given when landlords don’t maintain their properties.
If you live in a house in disrepair, it can affect both your mental and physical health. It can also lead to damaged belongings and a lot of inconveniences.
While tenants are responsible for looking after the homes they rent, the landlord is responsible for overall maintenance and keeping on top of wear and tear. If a house falls into disrepair, Homes in Disrepair Compensation might financially compensate the tenant could force the landlord to make the required repairs.
Keep reading and get all the details about how to make a compensation claim.
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The first step is to understand when you might be able to claim compensation. Next, you’ll want to understand the steps that you must take to make a claim.
Your landlord’s responsibilities only require reasonable maintenance of a property. Your landlord doesn’t need to provide any upgrades from the day you move in. If you’ve rented for ten years and most nearby homes now have solar panels, your landlord doesn’t need to add them. If you moved into a house without double glazing, your landlord doesn’t need to pay for that. You knew what you were getting when you first moved in, so the landlord has fulfilled their end of the deal.
Your landlord does need to pay if the condition of your house has deteriorated since you moved in. Common examples might include damaged roof tiles, damp walls, or a broken heating system.
In most cases, you’ll need to have lived in a property for at least six months before you can claim compensation. It can take years for houses to fall into disrepair, so if you’ve lived in the house for less than six months, then it’s usually assumed that the damage isn’t just wear and tear.
Claiming compensation should be a last resort. Before you try to claim compensation, you must have informed your landlord of the problem and made attempts to get them to resolve it.
When claiming compensation, getting evidence is very important. Take photographs of the damage. Note the value of anything you’ve been forced to throw away. Keep copies of any letters you send, keep emails safely stored, and record any phone calls' dates and times. Your landlord should resolve any problems in a reasonable time frame, and though ‘reasonable’ isn’t strictly defined, you have ways of showing very clearly if they’ve ignored your requests.
You’ll want to speak to a solicitor about claiming Housing Disrepair Compensation. They’ll discuss your case, review any evidence and decide if your claim should go ahead. They might decide that your claim isn’t justified or that you haven’t made enough attempts already to get your landlord to respond. If your solicitor feels that your case is strong, they might be able to offer their services on a No Win, No Fee basis.
Even if you’ve been waiting months or years to get a response from your landlord, you might find that they act very quickly once they’re threatened with a compensation claim. As soon as they hear from a solicitor, there’s a good chance that they’ll suddenly make efforts to make the repairs you’ve been requesting. If that happens, it’s considered a win, and your case is very likely to be closed. Of course, you may still be able to claim for injury, illness, or property damage if any of these things have occurred.
With a cooperative landlord, compensation claims can be finalized within six months. Assuming that your landlord puts up a bit of a fight, most claims take 9-12 months. In rare cases, compensation claims can take longer.
Your case might be closed once the landlord makes the required repairs. This is considered compensation enough, in the most basic of cases.
Often, living in a home in disrepair leads to additional problems. The state of your home might have led to injury or illness or could have left your property damaged. In these cases, financial compensation is deserved.
Your compensation is likely to total around £1,000 to £10,000 in value. Of course, some compensation payments end up much higher than this. If you’re suffering long-term health problems because of the state of your home, or if very expensive property has been damaged, then you could be entitled to more than £10k in compensation.
It’s worth bearing in mind that your compensation for belongings will cover only like-for-like replacements. If your TV is water damaged, you’ll get the money for an equivalent TV today if purchased second hand. You won’t get money for a brand-new TV, or for the latest technology if your original TV was state-of-the-art when you bought it.
If your landlord has already started their repairs, your compensation claim might be limited. Unless you’ve been injured, become ill, or had your property damaged, you’re getting the desired result. Your home being fixed resolves the problems, so further compensation isn’t needed.
You can still claim compensation for financial loss, even if repairs have now started. If your property’s been damaged or you’ve become ill because of your living environment, you can still claim financial compensation to make sure that things are put right.
You might also be able to claim compensation for any inconvenience. If you’ve been forced to stop using a room in your house, or if you need to move out whilst repairs are made, there could be compensation for this. Your landlord should support you with a temporary move, perhaps by freezing or reducing your rent until your home can be lived in again. If you’ve been left out of pocket, you can claim compensation so you’re not losing out as a result of a home in disrepair.
Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading homes in disrepair independent solicitors. They have already helped thousands of people claim compensation, and they can do the same for you.
Choosing an independent solicitor means they won’t recommend a scheme unless they are sure it is in your best interests. Their advice is also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.
If you would like to speak to one of these solicitors, then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.
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