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Defending Disrepair Claims

As a landlord you have a responsibility to ensure that the property your tenants live is properly maintained and is considered ‘fit for purpose’.

Being fit for purpose means that the property is not in disrepair and poses no health risk to the tenants. The property will be considered unfit for purpose if;

  • It has any kind of infestation (pests, vermin etc.)
  • There is a fault in the sewage or drainage system
  • There is insufficient access to water
  • The property poses a health and safety risk to the tenants

You are obliged to remedy any of these problems, and refusal to do so could result in the tenant being able to claim for compensation.

Tenants are responsible for minor repairs but as the landlord it is your duty to maintain major repairs and ensure that they are dealt with as soon as possible after they have been brought to your attention.

If a tenant is pursuing a disrepair claim against you, it may be possible to defend it. There are certain things that the tenant must have done in order to successfully claim compensation from you such as informing you of the disrepair in advance and allowing fair time for the reparations to be made. If you believe their case is unfair or flawed it may be possible to successfully defend the claim.

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