Call us today on 01253 858231

Housing Disrepair Case Study – A Fourteen Year Old Slow Leak

by Jane Willacey

We were instructed at the end of December 2021 by Mrs W from South London who had been experiencing ongoing disrepair within the council flat she shared with her two young children since 2007. We took her case on under a ’No Win No Fee’ agreement.

In the winter of 2007, our client noticed a slow leak coming from the ceiling of the master bedroom, our client reported this to the council several times over the period of a few months however our client didn’t receive a reply.

By the spring of 2008 black mould had started to form on the ceiling where the leak originated and the plaster work in this area had begun to crumble, again the disrepair was reported and this time our client received a reply, she was informed that an appointment had been made for a contractor to attend however they didn’t turn up to the appointment.

Our client attempted numerous times over a Fourteen year period to have her property repaired however all her requests were ignored

As soon as we took instruction, we sent a detailed letter of claim to the council setting out that they were in breach of express and implied terms of tenancy and/or breach of their statutory and common law duties.

The councils’ solicitors acknowledged our letter of claim and both parties arranged for the property to be inspected by our nominated expert surveyors. The surveyors reported that some of the main issues were but not limited to  

  • Damp and mould found in the master bedroom which recorded a high damp meter reading.
  • Defective rendering, guttering and damage to drainage pipes which was the main cause of the initial slow leak and subsequent mould.

We made a part 36 offer to settle without the need for court proceedings, our first offer was rejected however the other party accepted a subsequent offer of £8590.00 in damages and repairs to be completed within 60 days plus all legal costs recovered from the other side.

Although the disrepair for this claim was small in comparison to most of our housing disrepair cases the amount of time that our client lived within a state of disrepair meant that she received a substantial amount of compensation and whilst getting her home back to a liveable state was the priority the damages that our client received came a close second.

For more information on how compensation is generally calculated, read our article on this subject: