Over the course of any tenancy walls and plaster are likely to endure a reasonable amount of wear and tear. Walls that were initially pristine are never going to stay that way throughout the tenancy and this is something that is to be expected by both tenants and landlords.
Tenants are responsible for the general upkeep of the property, including dealing with any marks or scratches that may appear on walls or plaster around the house. However landlords are legally responsible for ensuring that any structural deficits pertaining to walls or plaster in the property are dealt with effectively. Landlords are responsible for the structural upkeep of the property which includes making sure that all walls and plaster are considered safe and fit for purpose.
Damaged walls, including holes in walls, crumbling walls and collapsing/collapsed walls, can be a sign of underlying structural damage which can cause further, more serious problems. Tenants should report any concerns regarding walls to their landlord as soon as they identify them so that they can be rectified.
Holes in walls may also be a sign of vermin or other pests in the house. Infestations can be unhygienic for tenants as well as a nuisance and should be dealt with promptly. Interior walls can also be affected by damp and mould which can damage anything it comes into contact with as well as cause health problems to those exposed to it for long periods of time such as asthma and chest infections.
Plaster that is cracked discoloured or bubbling/bulging are all causes for concern. Whilst hairline cracks are common and an aesthetic nuisance at worst, larger cracks can be an indication of structural damage to the property such as subsidence or sagging roofs. Tenants should inform landlords of any large cracks that appear on plaster so that they can be inspected and the cause of the cracks can be identified.
Discoloured or bubbling plaster is usually a sign of water damage, indicating that there may be a leak somewhere within the property. This again can be a symptom of underlying structural damage and it is prudent that the tenant liaises with their landlord so that the issues can be addressed.
Tenants have a responsibility to report any problems to their landlord. It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that the property is fit for purpose and all pipes and plumbing are working and not damaged. A tenant should allow the landlord reasonable time to fix the problem to an acceptable standard. However, if your landlord has failed to carry out their duties and carry out the required repairs you may be entitled to compensation.
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 disrepair issues involving damaged walls and/or plaster. Our team will advise you on what actions can be taken and how much compensation you may be entitled to.
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