Everyone deserves to live in a safe, warm and healthy home. Sometimes, however, landlords, whether they are private landlords, the local council or a housing association do not meet their obligations to deal with repair issues in a reasonable amount of time. These issues can lead to health problems, injuries caused or major inconvenience and damage to your personal belongings.
Due to the nature of and wide range of housing disrepair problems, health problems sometimes do occur immediately and you can suffer over a period of time.
In order to make a compensation claim for housing disrepair issues, the claim needs to fall into one of two parts; The first part is for any losses that you have had to pay out of pocket to get the repairs done yourself, and the second part is compensation for any personal injury or health issues that have arisen as a result of the disrepair problem.
Non-fault cases tend to be more straightforward, and partial fault cases tend to be a bit more complex. In either case, it is always best to get in touch with us so that we can give you the best advice for your particular situation.
The first step in starting a compensation claim for housing disrepairs is to get in touch with a solicitor. This can be done over the phone, using our online form, or in person, whichever you are most comfortable with and whichever is most convenient to you.
Once you have gotten in touch, your solicitor will need to gather some information about your specific case. This information will help to establish some key facts about the accident as well as help to determine the best approach for your individual case.
The information gathered will include your details, third-party details (who you are claiming against), the circumstances of the disrepair including the time, date and location and type of issues
Once we have gathered all the relevant information, we will formulate a claim for you and submit this to the third- party (your landlord). They will have 15 working days (3 weeks) in which to respond to the claim. There are a few ways that they can do this in relation to the claim we submit.
The third-party can give one of the following responses:
Accept the claim and deal with the disrepair issues. This should result in a relatively quick dealing with the problem. If there are no other issues relating to injury, health problems, or losses then the matter will be resolved at this stage
Accept fault for injury, health problems, or other losses: We will then begin negotiations on your behalf so that we can agree on a fair level of compensation for you
Deny Fault With Reasons: Denying fault by the third party will most likely, but not necessarily, result in a longer process.
If a third party denies fault they must provide sound reasons for doing so. We will then take further instruction from you and prepare your case as well as gather any further medical evidence.
The third-party will also have a fixed amount of time to investigate further as well to build the case for their denial. This period is 3 months so your claim should be in a position to be drawn to a conclusion at the end of this period unless we need to issue court proceedings.
If the claim is admitted, once we submit the medical evidence to the third party, there is a 35 working day negotiation period within which the claim needs to be agreed upon.
This negotiation period may or may not last the full 35 days, depending on the response of the third party, however, within this period, most compensation claims are settled in a lot less time.
If a compensation claim has been agreed upon during the negotiation period, then the third-party insurers will usually make payment within 21 days.
If a settlement is not made within the appropriate time frame we can issue proceedings on your instruction to do so. This means that we will take the case to court, and let a judge make a decision on the claim based on the evidence presented to them by all parties.
Most third parties would prefer not to go down this route, however, it is a course of action that from time to time is necessary depending on the specific circumstances of the case.
The judge’s decision is binding and this should draw the case to a close upon the judgment. The proceedings process can take up to 10 months, which is because of the court’s timetable, however, the vast majority of cases are settled well within this time period.
We can also assist in any claims for loss of earnings, treatment costs or any other losses that may arise from the disrepair.
This may be in situations where the third-party driver does not have insurance. If this is the case, we can still assist with all aspects of the claim. Simply contact us immediately and we can provide you with full advice on this situation.
After contacting us and establishing whether you wish to give us instructions to make this type of claim a building surveyor will be instructed to assess the property and the level of disrepair. This will normally include taking notes and photographs and then providing a report as evidence of the problems.
The surveyor will normally come and look at the property at a time that is convenient for you and will normally travel to wherever you are located.
The building surveyor will produce a Property Disrepair And Estimate Of Repair Report. This report will outline the number of disrepair issues with your property and also provide an estimate as to how much it would cost to repair the issues.
Once we have established the costs of repair, including any compensation costs, we will make a request to the third party for payment.
If the third party does not settle, we can issue court proceedings on your instruction and seek to secure your compensation through the courts.
Again the time scale for this is totally dependent on the court timetable which runs around 10 months, however, cases are concluded in significantly less time than this.
You may also be interested in more information on Housing Disrepair FAQs.