A collapsed ceiling is an extremely dangerous hazard that should be dealt with as soon as possible. If you are living in accommodation where the ceiling has collapsed or looks close to collapsing, you must inform your landlord immediately so that they can rectify the problem.
Tenants should expect to live in safe and secure properties at all times and it the responsibility of the landlord to ensure that this is always the case.
The initial collapse of a ceiling can cause serious injury or even death to anyone present at the time. It can also cause extensive damage to furniture and belongings which can result in costly replacements. It is important to remember that even after the collapse of a ceiling; health hazards are still possible; dust created by the collapse could lead to the development of asthma or allergies. There is also the slight chance that some of the materials in the ceiling or insulation contain traces of asbestos, a potentially harmful substance used as a building material which has since been banned. Dust particles containing traces of asbestos can be very dangerous if inhaled, causing serious illnesses including lung cancer.
A landlord is responsible for the reparation of a collapsed ceiling as well as clearing the debris and sourcing workers to carry out the works required. However it is the tenant who is responsible for informing the landlord of the disrepair.
Tenants and landlords should both be aware of the signs of a ceiling on the verge of collapse. Tell-tale signs include;
- A cracking or loud creaking sound in the ceiling
- Sagging or drooping of the plasterboard and/or the cornice
- Visual cracks on the ceiling – a sign that the plasterboard sheeting may be pulling away from the nails or screws
If a tenant notes any of the above signs they should inform the landlord who should carry out repairs within a reasonable amount of time. If your landlord fails to carry out repairs after receiving notice, you may have a potential claim for disrepair against them and you may be able to force the landlord to carry out remedial work by obtaining an injunction order from court.
If you think you have a potential claim, you should get in touch with a specialist housing solicitor. Our team of dedicated housing lawyers at LAWTEC Solicitors are well-equipped and experienced to handle all kinds of housing disrepair matters, including cases involving a collapsed ceiling. They will advise you on what actions can be taken and how much compensation you may be entitled to.
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