There are a whole host of problems that can arise due to a faulty or damaged roof, some of which can easily become severe. If you are living in rented accommodation it is important that the roof of your property is maintained to a good standard at all times in order to avoid complications and disrepair. This is the responsibility of the landlord who is obliged to ensure that the property is safe and fit for purpose at all times.
One of the most common roofing problems involves the roof’s tiles. Broken, damaged or even missing tiles can cause largescale issues if they are not replaced accordingly. Tiles and slates are used to help filter water into gutters and pipes, keeping the building dry. Roofs can leak if there are missing or broken tiles, this can lead to serious problems including water damage, dry rot which can compromise the structural integrity of the building, damp, and mould. Mould can cause health problems for those living within the home, including asthma, allergies and chest infections, if left untreated.
Debris on roofs can also be problematic. Moss frequently grows on roofs and whilst it is not a danger in itself, should moss end up in the gutters or pipes around a roof it can cause blockages and leaks. Other debris such as leaves, branches and twigs, and even animals can also cause blockages.
Sagging is a less obvious but equally challenging issue. Although some older properties’ roofs may develop slight sagging over time, the vast majority of incidents of sagging are concerning matters. Sagging can be caused by an overburdened roof, for example, if a roof that was originally designed to bear lightweight slate tiles receives replacement tiles made from concrete, the structure of the roof may not be built to withstand the additional weight causing it to sag. Other causes include rotting timbers which usually occur as a result of water damage.
A sagging roof is ultimately a warning sign that the roof is in one way or another being compromised with a collapsed roof being the biggest danger encounterable.
Tenants have a responsibility to inform their landlord of any disrepair they encounter on the property. Noticing roof issues may not always be easy as it is often the most inaccessible part of the building. Some tell-tale signs that something is not right with the roof include;
- Broken tiles on the ground
- Leaks or dampness
- Light coming through the roof (a sign of missing tiles)
- Visual sagging of the roof
- Water damage
Although the tenant has the responsibility to report any issues to their landlord it is not their duty to fix the problem, this is solely down to the landlord. Landlords should be informed as soon as possible and should then be given a reasonable amount of time to effectively make the necessary repairs. However, if your landlord fails to carry out repairs as they are obliged to do so, you may be entitled to compensation or the tenant may be able to force the landlord to carry out the remedial work by obtaining an injunction order from the court if the disrepair is severe and dangerous.
If you believe you have a compensation claim, your first course of action should be to get in touch with a specialist housing solicitor. At LAWTEC Solicitors, our team of dedicated housing lawyers have the skills and expertise to handle all kinds of disrepair matters including cases involving roof problems. Our team will advise you on what actions can be taken and how much compensation you may be entitled to.
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