A landlord has a legal duty to maintain the exterior and structure of any property he or she rents out. If there is a problem that is either identified in an inspection or reported by a tenant, a landlord must carry out a competent repair within a reasonable amount of time. If there is a failure to do so, a tenant could claim compensation for the damage this negligence has caused.
What can you claim compensation for?
If your landlord fails to address a repair even after you have served a notice, you will be able to pursue a housing disrepair claim. If your case is successful, you will be awarded a sum of compensation. The amount will vary depending upon the extent of damage and inconvenience you have suffered. However, all settlements will cover the following four elements:-
Damage to belongings
If your own belongings have been damaged as a direct consequence of the disrepair, you will be able to claim the expense of replacing or repairing these items. This may include, for example, the cost incurred due to damaged bedding, clothes, curtains, carpets and furniture. The amount of compensation for damage to your belongings will be calculated by your solicitor.
Damage to health
If your health has been adversely affected as a result of the disrepair, you will be able to claim for the pain and suffering this has caused you. The amount of compensation for damage to your health will reflect the extent of physical and emotional injury you have sustained. It may also be possible to recover other costs you have incurred because of your poor health – for example, a loss of earnings.
If you haven’t been able to use your home in the normal way because of the disrepair, you will be able to claim for the inconvenience you have encountered. Again, the amount of compensation will depend upon the extent of disruption that has been caused.
Abatement of rent
If you have not been able to live in your home because of the disrepair, you could be entitled to an abatement of rent, whereby you claim back some of the rent you have paid. The amount of compensation will be determined by how much of your house was considered unfit for habitation, and how long you suffered this inconvenience for.
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