If your rental property has deteriorated in terms of repair from what it was at the time your tenancy began and you’ve notified your landlord in writing, you may be able to make a housing disrepair compensation claim.
After receiving notification, your landlord will need to be given reasonable time to correct the situation. If they still fail to carry out the necessary repairs, you can then claim compensation.
How does housing disrepair compensation work?
The amount of compensation a tenant may receive is based on a number of different factors. The length and the severity of the housing disrepair issue will be considered, and how it impacted on you and your household on a day-to-day basis.
The compensation will take into account the cost of the required household repairs, as well as any legal costs associated with making the housing disrepair claim. A crucial component of the calculation will be the ‘pain, suffering and loss of amenity’ caused by being resident in a property with a disrepair issue or being forced to vacate it.
What is ‘pain, suffering, and loss of amenity’?
If the housing disrepair has led to a tenant suffering physically then the landlord has failed to provide them with adequate levels of living conditions which they expect in return for the rent they agree to pay.
Any issues that you faced as a result of the housing disrepair, causing pain, distress, and inconvenience, then this is defined by ‘pain, suffering and loss amenity’ including having to find alternative accommodation.
How is housing disrepair compensation calculated?
The rent of the property will be used as the basis to help calculate the value of any housing disrepair compensation. The compensation awarded will be a percentage of the rent that has been paid while the tenant resided in the property with disrepair issues. Even if rent is covered by Housing Benefits paid by the local authority, the tenant may still be able to claim compensation.
The severity of the disrepair will determine the percentage of compensation that’s received. If the property is completely uninhabitable, the compensation will be 100%. In reality, this level of payout is incredibly rare with the normal compensation range falling between 25%-50% of the rent of the property.
How might this work in practice?
If, for example, the property had a severe damp problem for a year and the rent per month was 1000pcm, the rent for the entire period would be £12000. If the claimant was awarded 40% compensation, the tenant would receive £4800.
Does your rented property have a housing disrepair problem?
If the property you’re renting has a housing disrepair issue and the landlord isn’t responding to requests for it to be dealt with, then it’s important to seek professional legal advice as soon as possible.