Winter Weather Worsens Social Housing Disrepair Problems

Do you live in a council or housing association property? Social housing disrepair gets worse in winter. Here are a few reminders to help keep your family safe.

If you live in a council or housing association property and winter is approaching, checking things like your windows and frames can save you energy costs and spare respiratory health conditions. It is up to your landlord to make the repairs you request in a timely manner. Faulty windows and frames lead to mould, damp and higher prices on gas and electricity – two already exorbitant expenses.

The dangers of faulty windows and frames

We turn to one story in UK news where a Hackney Housing Association tenant suffered a narrow miss. The faulty window fell from his third floor flat as he was arriving home, almost hitting him! This case shines a light on the ever present and worsening problem of council and social housing disrepair.

If you have reported a repair to your social housing landlord and they fail to act, you could have a claim for housing disrepair. Contact us today to discuss your case and let us help you decide whether you would like to pursue the matter further.

What repairs is your landlord responsible for?

What your landlord repairs and what you can repair will be written in your tenancy agreement. Making large repairs without consulting your landlord might invalidate your agreement, so do check with them before you make any small repairs. Your landlord cannot expect you to make repairs as defined in the Landlord and Tenant Act, or in the Fitness for Habitation laws. Your landlord should not expect you to make repairs which contradict those outlined by law. These repairs include structural and exterior repairs. The repair obligations outlined by the UK government are the same for private renting as they are for social housing.

Your landlord must repair:

  • Damage to the structure or exterior of your property
  • Electrical wiring systems which may be old or faulty
  • All of your gas and boiler repairs, including pipework
  • Damage caused when making repairs
  • Damage to basins, sinks, toilets and other sanitation facilities

There is a rise in housing associations who are inserting clauses into their agreements which are not strictly legal. One client’s housing association had defined that they would not be responsible for defective windows in their tenancy agreement. Since windows and frames are part of the property structure, the housing association were in the wrong. Several cases set precedent for this, including the 1879 case of Ball V Plumber and the 2007 case of Sheffield Council V Hazel St Clare.

What to do if your landlord fails to make repairs

Firstly report your problem, preferably in writing, and wait 30 days for their response. If there is no response, continue to inform them of the problem. If there is still no response and your landlord does not act, you can consider a claim for housing disrepair.

Don’t be ignored and fobbed off any longer. Contact SilverOak Solicitors – Personal Injury, Housing Disrepair and Immigration Services and our experienced housing disrepair solicitors will fight on your behalf for your repairs and for the maximum amount of compensation due to you. We work on a 100% No Win No Fee basis so you won’t pay anything unless we win.