Why Housing Disrepairs Need To Be Taken More Seriously

or call Legal HD on 0161 974 7350

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Why Housing Disrepairs Need To Be Taken More Seriously

or call Legal HD on 0161 974 7350

A combination of rent increases and disrepair issues has led to many people in the rental sector living in intolerable conditions. And given that the UK rental sector is more than twice the size it was 20 years ago, this points towards a major problem for the UK Government. Earlier this year, housing secretary Michael Gove introduced new legislation which he claimed would help “…tenants to feel empowered to stand up to bad landlords and report issues”, but a recent survey has revealed that the problem of disrepair issues is worse than ever.

The UK Government’s introduction of Awaab’s Law came in response to the high profile case of two-year-old Awaab Ishak, who developed a respiratory condition and died in December 2020 after being exposed to mould over an extended period in the social housing he was living in. But a recent survey of 1000 tenants found that 48% were living with housing disrepair issues which they felt were making their home unsafe or leading to severe health issues.

Tenant apathy in reporting disrepair issues

While the Government has claimed it will not hesitate to take robust action against landlords who continue to let down their tenants, the general consensus is that tenants are starting to feel that there is no point in reporting disrepair issues and it is too much hassle to chase issues up because landlords are evasive or not responding at all. This comes at a time when 51% of tenants questioned had reported a rent increase of 10% in the past 12 months.

The falling standards are mainly being found in the social housing sector. The Housing Ombudsman Service reported earlier this year that a record 5109 ‘escalated complaints’ had been made against landlords across 2023, and cases of ‘severe maladministration’ had risen from 31 to 131 in the 12 months from October 2022 to October 2023. Severe maladministration is the term describing a situation where a tenant has made a disrepair complaint and there has been an excessive delay in taking action. It was found that 62% of these cases had been reported against local authority landlords.

Awaab Ishak not an isolated case

Awaab’s Law is a landmark amendment to the Social Housing Act that was introduced from July 2023, and which requires landlords to fix disrepair issues in a ‘timely fashion’. Of course it is too early to confirm that this has triggered any improvements in terms of reported disrepair issues being dealt with, but figures being released in recent months suggest that the case of Awaab Ishak is not an isolated one, and there may be many other social housing tenants at risk of severe and possibly terminal health issues.

Perhaps the most shocking finding from recent surveys is that tenants feel helpless and unmotivated to report disrepair issues, clearly scarred from previous futile attempts to have disrepair issues dealt with, or downtrodden from a general perception that it is a waste of time. 83% of the 1000 tenants questioned claimed they had reported at least one disrepair issue to their landlord, and 28% had been waiting more than six months for it to be fixed.

Contact Legal HD for support in making a housing disrepair claim

At Legal HD we look at these results with dismay, but it energises us to do more to help our clients and fight the injustice of escalating disrepair issues in social housing. Any tenant who lives in social housing and has reported a disrepair issue directly to their landlord, can start a claim against their landlord as long as they have given them a reasonable period of time to deal with the issue. At Legal HD we have experts in this field who can deal with your case with empathy and compassion, and can provide a rounded solution which assists with the trauma and health effects of living with the issue, and takes on the legal burden of securing suitable compensation for your ordeal.

We believe that housing disrepair issues need to be taken more seriously and that the UK Government needs to back-up its talk to clamp down on social housing landlords who are not acting in a timely fashion to deal with disrepair issues. At Legal HD we are at the sharp end of this problem and we are determined to represent you if you are involved in a disrepair issue that has been excessively delayed.

Contact our team at Legal HD today and we can help you improve your lifestyle, deal with these problems and secure you the compensation you deserve.

Andrew Dow - Legal HD Co-Founder
Peter Hartley - Legal HD Co-Founder

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Do you believe you have a case to make a housing disrepair claim? If so, contact Legal HD today via the form below or call us on 0161 974 7350 today.

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