How can disrepairs affect your health

How Can Disrepair Affect Your Health

When a property deteriorates and falls into disrepair, it can have adverse effects on your health.

If you’re renting, this is completely unacceptable, and your housing association or local council should take action to rectify the issue.

Housing disrepair can manifest in various ways, including mould, pest infestations, faulty plumbing, and sanitation problems. Such disrepair can lead to a range of health issues, with the most common ones being:

Allergic Reactions

Exposure to certain substances, such as mould spores, dust mites, and chemicals found in building materials, can cause allergic reactions in the body. Symptoms can include difficulty breathing, watery eyes and nose, itchy eyes, a sore throat, congestion, coughing, sneezing, eczema, and other skin conditions. If you’re living in poor housing conditions, these symptoms may be related.

Respiratory Conditions, Including Asthma

For some individuals, exposure to specific allergens can irritate the respiratory system and lead to conditions like asthma. Cockroaches, for instance, have been identified as asthma triggers in inner-city neighbourhoods. Respiratory conditions can also result from exposure to dampness, mould, and hazardous materials like asbestos. According to the NHS people who live in a damp and mouldy home have a higher risk of respiratory infections/problems, allergies, and asthma.

Respiratory Infections

Living in cold, damp, and mouldy conditions can increase the risk of respiratory infections, including sinusitis, bronchitis, and pneumonia. Vulnerable populations, such as the young and elderly, are particularly susceptible.

Gastrointestinal Infections

Broken drains, pipes, water systems, and toilets can expose tenants to gastrointestinal infections due to contact with faecal matter or contaminated water. Pest infestations, unhygienic conditions, and inadequate waste management systems can also contribute to these infections, leading to symptoms like fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, and dehydration, which can be especially severe for immunocompromised individuals.


Inadequate ventilation, hazardous building materials, and structural disrepair can expose residents to toxic substances like smoke, lead, radon gas, and carbon monoxide. These substances can cause breathing difficulties, nervous system disorders, cancer, and even fatalities. Carbon monoxide leaks, for instance, can lead to fatal poisoning within a short time.

Physical Injuries

Unsafe housing conditions increase the likelihood of physical injuries from incidents like trips, falls, burns, scalds, cuts, and electric shocks. These injuries can result from uneven flooring, faulty wiring, malfunctioning appliances, broken doors and windows, and structural damage, among other hazards.

Cardiovascular Diseases

Cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure, can be exacerbated by housing disrepair, especially in properties that are cold, damp, or mouldy.

Anxiety and Depression

Living in a poorly maintained property can also take a toll on mental health, leading to anxiety and depression. Research indicates that housing issues have negatively affected the mental health of 21% of adults in England within the past five years.



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Has Your Health Been Impacted by Housing Disrepair?

Tenants in England and Wales should not have to endure substandard housing conditions. Housing associations and councils are legally obligated to ensure that rental properties are suitable for human habitation. If your health is affected, it’s their responsibility. Contact your housing association or council to request repairs, which should be completed within a reasonable timeframe, typically within three months.

If your requests are ignored or denied, persist in contacting them. If no resolution is reached, consider reaching out to Nicholson Jones Sutton Solicitors.

Tenants have the right to live in housing that meets basic standards, and you can take legal action if your housing association or council fails to meet their repair obligations, which is known as pursuing a housing disrepair claim.

Claiming Compensation for Your Health Issues

A housing disrepair claim allow you to seek compensation for your health problems and/or injuries, whether they are physical or emotional.

If your repairs have been done but you and/or your family are still suffering health problems as a consequence of living in disrepair you have the right to claim.

How Nicholson Jones Sutton Solicitors can help you with your claim.

Nicholson Jones Sutton Solicitors are one of the few housing disrepair solicitors across England and Wales who have a professional and dedicated legal team to ensure that your repairs are completed and more importantly get your home into the excellent condition that you deserve.

We can help you with the following aspects:

  • Instruct a surveyor to assess the disrepair and provide a report to use as evidence
  • If necessary, legally ensure your housing association or council completes all your repairs.
  • Obtaining a medical expert’s report to establish a clear link between your health issues and the housing disrepair.
  • Claim compensation for you for the period of time your property has been in disrepair

Nicholson Jones Sutton Solicitors are housing disrepair claim experts, assisting tenants nationwide on a NO WIN NO FEE basis to compel their council to conduct crucial repairs to their properties, in addition to recovering compensation for the period of time repairs have been delayed.

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.

Contact us today to discuss your claim.


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