Housing Disrepair Claim vs Housing Ombudsman Complaint

When renting a property, tenants have certain rights that are protected by law. One of these rights is the right to live in a safe and well-maintained home. However, sometimes landlords fail to maintain their properties, leading to disrepair and potentially hazardous living conditions for tenants. In such cases, tenants have two options: they can make a housing disrepair claim and/or file a complaint with the Housing Ombudsman, after the landlord’s internal complaints process has been exhausted.

The tenants have the right to use both legal options.

In this article we are going to describe each option and why to pursue both.

What is a Housing Disrepair Claim?

A housing disrepair claim is a legal action that tenants can take against their landlords for failing to carry out necessary repairs to their rented property. To make a disrepair claim, tenants must demonstrate that the property is in need of repairs that are the responsibility of the landlord, and that the landlord has failed to address the issue.

Examples of disrepair can include structural issues such as damp, leaks, heating and or electrical issues…If a tenant can prove that their landlord has neglected these issues, they may be entitled to compensation for any damage or inconvenience caused.

To make a disrepair claim, tenants must first inform their landlord of the issue and allow a reasonable amount of time for the landlord to address the problem. If the landlord fails to respond or take action, tenants may then choose to pursue a disrepair claim.



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What is a Housing Ombudsman Complaint?

The Housing Ombudsman is an independent body that investigates complaints made by tenants about their landlords. The ombudsman’s role is to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants, and to ensure that landlords are meeting their legal obligations to provide safe and well-maintained properties.

To file a complaint with the Housing Ombudsman, tenants must first exhaust their landlord’s internal complaints procedure. This means that tenants must submit a formal complaint to their landlord and allow a reasonable amount of time for the landlord to respond. If the landlord fails to resolve the issue, tenants can then escalate the complaint to the Housing Ombudsman.

The Housing Ombudsman has the power to investigate complaints and to make recommendations to landlords to resolve the issue. The Housing Ombudsman can award compensation. However, it may be lower than what you would receive by pursuing your landlord through legal action.

Enforcement action cannot be taken against your landlord if they fail to comply with the Ombudsman’s decision.

Which Option is Right for You?

Whether to pursue a housing disrepair claim or file a complaint with the Housing Ombudsman depends on the individual circumstances of each case. If a tenant is seeking compensation for damages or financial losses incurred as a result of disrepair, then a disrepair claim may be the best option.

On the other hand, if a tenant is primarily seeking to resolve the issue and ensure that their landlord is meeting their legal obligations, then a complaint to the Housing Ombudsman may be more appropriate. The Ombudsman will only award compensation if they find evidence of maladministration.


Tenants have the right to live in safe and well-maintained properties, and landlords have a legal obligation to ensure that their properties are properly maintained. When landlords fail to meet their obligations, tenants have options available to them, including making a housing disrepair claim and/or filing a complaint with the Housing Ombudsman.

Tenants can raise a complaint with the Housing Ombudsman and make a housing disrepair claim.

By taking action, tenants can ensure that their rights are protected, and that their living conditions are improved.

Nicholson Jones Sutton Solicitors are housing disrepair claim experts, assisting tenants nationwide on a NO WIN NO FEE basis to compel their council or Housing Association 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.

Craig Flounders


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