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Housing Disrepair Claims – Social Housing Tenant

This article gives information on Housing Disrepair Claims Social Housing Tenant. It explains the tenant’s and landlord’s responsibilities to do repairs and what options the tenant has if the landlord doesn’t meet their obligations.

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Housing Disrepair – What are your options if you are a social housing tenant?

If you rent your home from a social housing landlord, they’re responsible for dealing with most repair problems.

Repair responsibilities can be implied by law through the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 or expressly written into the tenancy agreement itself.

Whilst many social landlords carry out repairs quickly, this does not always happen.
If you have any concerns that your landlord is not fulfilling its repair obligations, you should check the terms of the tenancy agreement to start with to see what the obligations are and consider seeking legal advice.

What are social housing landlords?

Social housing landlords include local authorities, housing associations, housing trusts, arm’s-length management organisations (ALMOs), housing co-operatives and tenant management organisations (TMOs).

Standards for landlords in England

Landlords must follow certain rules set down by the Regulator of Social Housing. This includes meeting certain standards on repairs and maintenance.
For example, social housing landlords must have a repairs and maintenance service that responds to a tenant’s needs, offers choice, and aims to get the work done right first time. They must ensure that a tenant’s home meets the Decent Homes Standard – see below.
They also must meet all legal requirements that provide for the health and safety of residents in their homes.

Standards for landlords in Wales

Registered social landlords (RSLs) such as housing associations, are expected to manage their accommodation in line with standards set out by the Welsh Government.
This includes having an efficient repairs and maintenance service that responds to a tenant’s needs.

The Decent Homes Standard in England

Accommodation owned by social housing landlords must meet the Decent Homes Standard for fitness, structure, energy efficiency and facilities.
Landlords must continue to maintain homes to at least this standard. A decent home must:

• meet the current minimum standard for housing, that is, that the property must be free of Category 1 hazards under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System.
• be in a reasonable state of repair.
• have reasonably modern facilities and services
• provide a reasonable degree of thermal comfort – such as insulation and heating.

The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)

The HHSRS is a system for assessing housing conditions. A local authority should

• Carry out inspections or rented housing
• Identify whether any specific hazards are present
• Categorise those hazards

The regulations list 29 circumstances that can give rise to hazards ranging from damp and mould growth, excess cold or heat, asbestos, biocides, domestic hygiene, pests, sanitation, water supply, risks of falls, electrical hazards, structural collapse etc.

Options for taking further action for social housing tenants

If you’ve reported a repair to your landlord and they haven’t done anything about it, you can take further action. If you haven’t reported the repair, then you should do that first.

There are several options for you to consider, for example, making a complaint or taking legal action.

If you want to take further action about repairs, it’s always useful to keep records and gather evidence of the repairs and any contact with your landlord.

Our team has decades of combined experience in dealing with Housing Disrepair Claims. We are sympathetic, understanding, and are here to help you every step of the way.

Nicholson Jones Sutton Solicitors can usually handle Housing Disrepair Claims on a No Win No Fee basis.

Call or email us today to discuss your claim.

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