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Housing Disrepair: a property in general disrepair

MJV&Co
by MJV&Co

A Property in General Disrepair

Our client complained of lots of smaller problems that, over time, got worse and caused her property to descend into a state of general disrepair.

Leak

The first problem our client complained of was a leak emanating from the toilet. Her landlord sent an agent who appeared to fix it, but the problem soon returned. She reported the issue, and her landlord tried to fix it, several times, but each time the leak returned.

The water released eventually caused damp and mould to form. It entered the partition wall between the bathroom and separate toilet which resulted in the damp forming. The wall, on both sides, was wet to the touch. A bad smell was noticeable in both rooms.

Her landlord failed to undertake any proper investigation of the leak.

It was crucial that our client gave adequate notice of the disrepair or she may not have had a valid claim.

For more information on notice, read our introductory advisory guide for tenants: https://www.mjvlaw.co.uk/legal-news/housing-disrepair-compensation/

Kitchen

The landlord had allowed the kitchen to fall into a poor condition in general. There were several items of disrepair for which they were responsible:

  • The storage heaters did not function correctly;
  • The kitchen door was missing posing a fire risk;
  • There was no heat or fire detector fitted; and
  • The window had blown causing condensation to form around it.

Survey

As there were lots of smaller issues at the property, our client had not reported all of them. She had not even informed us of all of them prior to inspection. Her primary complaints were the leak and associated damp. These had, by far, the biggest impact upon her and her family.

At the inspection, our expert surveyor also identified:

  • The boiler pressure was very high requiring further specialist investigation;
  • The bathroom extractor fan was not functioning correctly. This contributed to the damp and mould in that room;
  • The seal around the bath and sink had failed. It was also contaminated by mould and required replacing;
  • The smoke detector in the hallway did not function correctly;
  • The electrical inspection was overdue on the date of the survey;
  • The bedroom door was missing;
  • The bedroom light and fan above were missing; and
  • The bedroom windows had blown.

Response

Our client’s landlord undertook their own inspection and could not deny the disrepair that our expert had identified.

They agreed to undertake almost all of the work. They would not replace the kitchen door as it transpired our client had removed this. A landlord is not responsible where an issue has been caused by the tenant.

Settlement

The issues with damp and mould had caused damage to our client’s mattress. The cost of a replacement was £120.00 and we recovered this in full.

Our client also accepted an offer of £1,700 in compensation. The rent at the property was quite low and so this represented a good settlement.

While the leak was the primary issue complained of, the general disrepair at the property was addressed as part of the claim and our client’s home is now suitable for her and her family.

For more information on how compensation in housing disrepair claims is calculated, read our introductory guide: https://www.mjvlaw.co.uk/legal-news/housing-disrepair-compensation/