The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 sets out a minimum standard of repairing obligations which landlords of Assured Shorthold Tenants must comply with in England & Wales. Furthermore, the Defective Premises Act 1972 and newly introduced Fitness for Human Habitation Act 2018 impose further standards to ensure that rented properties are free from unsafe, unhealthy or harmless defects.
Due to the current pandemic, routine repairs within social and council housing had been brought to a halt due to the government guidelines of social distancing and lockdown measures; unless works where for emergency purposes. During the latter end of May 2020, the return of non-urgent works according to inside housing was set to resume were capacity allows, as per housing minister Christopher Pincher’s letter to social housing tenants.
During this period of uncertainty, we here at High Street, are still able to help clients who were unable to have their disrepair problems rectified by their social or council housing associations. After continued complaints had been raised this would in turn leave our clients with no choice but to seek legal advice from ourselves. During lockdown we recently settled a case for a tenant of a social Landlord. High Street Solicitors were contacted by the client after was being ignored by the Landlord despite reporting damp, leaks and draughty windows, since as far back as 2015. Despite reporting these problems on regular occasions, the Landlord simply ignored all requests for help. The landlord initially stated that they would not be liable for the disrepair and attributing the problems to condensation; which at the time a Landlord would not be liable for. The law has since changed and Landlords can now be liable for disrepair caused by condensation under the Fitness for Habitation Act.
It was after over four years of unsuccessful attempts with the Landlord, that the client instructed ourselves. Since acting on our client’s behalf, we have been able to provide a conclusion to the continued feud. The Landlord has agreed to carry out repairs and pay our client compensation, even though they originally continued to defend the claims that where originally put forward, advising that then were going to run the case all the way to trial. We settled the claim for our client within a 16-month period. To minimise the inconvenience our client would be subject to during the period of works within the rental property; we where able to negotiate a settlement term for the client to be moved into temporary accommodation during this time of upheaval.
Please note for data protection purposes we have changed our clients name in the above overview.