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Housing Disrepair: Mould, Damp and a Severe Slug Infestation.

by Jane Willacey

We were instructed at the end of April 2022 by Mr H from North London who had been experiencing ongoing disrepair within his council owned flat since December 2017. We took his case on under a ’No Win No Fee’ agreement.

In the winter of 2017, our client noticed that mould was beginning to form on the walls and ceilings in the bedroom, bathroom and living room plus he was finding a large number of slugs within the property when the weather was cold and damp. Our client reported this to the council via phone and email a considerable number of times over a five-year period with no response from the council.

By the start of 2021 the damp and mould had become so bad that it had ruined all the soft furnishings within the property, carpets, bedding, and curtains to name just a few were saturated with damp and mould which had a negative impact on our clients physical and mental health.

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 and we instructed an expert surveyor to assess the disrepair.

The surveyor reported that some of the main issues were but not limited to severely blocked guttering and drainage pipes, inadequate ventilation and blown seals on all windows and doors.

Some weeks later we received an acknowledgement of the letter of claim from the councils’ solicitors however they were reluctant to enter in to negotiations to commence repairs and settle out of court, therefore we issued court proceedings.

As the hearing date drew nearer we received a part 36 offer to settle out of court. The offer was lower than our valuation therefore we made a counter offer which in turn was rejected.

The judge ruled that the council were in breach of express and implied terms of tenancy and/or breach of their statutory and common law duties and awarded our client £3850 in compensation with all repairs to be made within 90 days.

Our client up until the point of instruction had lived with damp, mould and a slug infestation for four years which had caused him considerable distress and frustration and whilst getting his home back to a liveable state was the priority the compensation that our client received came a close second.

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