The Long Term Consequences of Living in a House in Disrepair Explained

Ian Lewis[1]

Ian Lewis

Money Savings Advice The Long Term Consequences of Living in a House in Disrepair Explained

If your house is in disrepair, it’s more than just a minor inconvenience. A house in disrepair can lead to more problems, including risks to your health and safety.

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What Is a House in Disrepair?

To stay in a condition that’s suitable for tenants, a house must be properly maintained. Through general wear and tear, houses deteriorate over time. Small signs of wear and tear might include frayed carpets or the occasionally cracked tile in the bathroom. If a house isn’t properly maintained, problems will begin to accumulate.

Over time, if left unchecked, small issues become more significant problems. New problems arise, and unless they’re resolved, they’ll simply become worse and worse.

A homeowner is responsible for looking after their own house and maintaining it to keep it safe and comfortable. If you’re a tenant, it’s your landlord’s responsibility.

A house in disrepair isn’t simply one that’s furnished in an old-fashioned style. It’s also not a house that’s missed out on upgrades like the latest boiler or a high-tech security system. A house is in disrepair if the condition has deteriorated since you moved in, and work needs to be done to get it back to a reasonable standard.

What Are the Long Term Consequences of Living in a House in Disrepair?

A house in disrepair isn’t something you can easily ignore. Over time, the problems caused will impact other parts of your life. Mould and damp aren’t just a visual problem but could have an impact on your health. Other issues could put you at risk of theft or of a serious injury.

The Long Term Health Risks of Living in a House in Disrepair

Living in a poorly maintained house can have an impact on your health. Damp and mould are common issues in a house that’s badly maintained and could lead to breathing issues, allergies, headaches, and sickness.

People are particularly likely to be affected by damp if they have asthma, eczema, or a weakened immune system. Babies and the elderly are also more likely to feel the effects than healthy adults.

As well as issues caused by damp, houses in disrepair might be cold, and this can also make you unwell.

The Injury Risks of Living in a House in Disrepair

Uneven floors and falling tiles are just two of a house's risks in disrepair that might lead to a physical injury. Homes in disrepair might have water leaks or flooding, and this could be met with electricity in a dangerous combination. Damaged wires and cables are also a risk in their own right, as are damaged gas pipes and gas leaks.

There are many injury risks in a house that's fallen into disrepair. Ongoing maintenance will identify problems, and these should be resolved as soon as possible.

Damage to Personal Property of Living in a House in Disrepair

At first, you might not notice any risk to your property. After a while, any mould or damp might spread to your furniture and clothing. Nothing ever quite gets rid of a damp smell in fabrics like a sofa or carpet, and you might find that you're forced to dispose of the things that you worked hard to buy. If your house is in a state of disrepair for a long time, you're likely to notice more and more things that are damaged and must be thrown away.

The Security Risks of Living in a House in Disrepair

A broken door or window lock could be a security risk, making it easy for unwanted guests to make their way into your home. From the outside, a home that's in disrepair looks like easy pickings for a burglar. If people aren't maintaining the house, there's a chance that it's been left unattended. If people do live inside, they're potentially too busy to carry out every day repairs. To a burglar or opportunistic thief, a poorly maintained house is like a neon sign that says 'Welcome.'

Once burglar's set sights on your home, they'll look for a way to get in. If your house is poorly maintained, this could be a weak window or a door that you haven't been able to lock property. A damaged gate could provide easy access to a yard or back garden, with very little resistance to alert your neighbours to any unusual activity. Your house in disrepair could be the perfect choice for a criminal that wants some easy money.

Money Savings Advice Tip

If you live in a council house or rent from the housing association and your landlord hasn't looked after the property you could be entitled to a financial compensation claim, if you believe you have a claim we recommend speaking to a specialist solicitor.

Other Risks of Living in a House in Disrepair

A damaged door that's stiff and hard to open could keep you in the house in an emergency. If there's a fire or other reason to escape, you might not be able to do so. A blocked boiler flue could lead to lethal carbon monoxide in your home. Broken gutters might not just be your problem but could also lead to surface water pooling outside your neighbour's house. Then, on top of your own long-term problem, relationships with neighbours could be damaged.

What Can I Do About Living in a House in Disrepair?

It’s easy to see how seemingly minor disrepair can quickly lead to much bigger problems. If you’re a homeowner, don’t let those everyday maintenance tasks get out of hand. If you notice that something needs fixing, you should make your repairs as soon as possible. If you don’t have a particular skill or time to carry out the work, hire someone else and schedule them in for a visit as soon as you can.

If you don’t own your own home, it’s harder to look after the property. Your landlord is responsible for household maintenance and keeping your home in good repair. Of course, before a landlord can help, they need to be aware of any issues. If you notice something damaged that needs to be repaired, contact your landlord straight away. Within a reasonable time frame, they should send someone out to do the work.

If you’re a tenant in a house in disrepair and your landlord isn’t doing what they should, you have the option to contact a solicitor for some legal advice. If your landlord’s refusing to maintain the property, and you’ve been left at risk, you might be able to force them to make repairs. You may also be entitled to some compensation if you’ve been injured, left ill, or had to deal with damaged property.

How Can Money Savings Advice Help You if You Are Living in 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.


Money Savings Advice Author Ian Lewis

Ian Lewis

Ian Lewis is one of our specialist financial writers. Ian has over 15 years of financial writing experience, having worked for some of the largest financial publications in the UK covering topics from mortgages, equity release, loans and financial claims, to name a few.

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