Unfortunately, our dream home sometimes turns into a nightmare when we rent from a landlord who ignores our requests for repairs. If you are being ignored by your landlord to sort disrepair in your home, these five steps can potentially help you get your dream home back on track.
No one deserves to live in rundown and dilapidated conditions, particularly if you are renting from a landlord whose responsibility is to keep the property up to scratch. Having disrepair in a home can cause significant stress in your day-to-day life, causing damage to your personal belongings and even personal injury if the disrepair is not dealt with.
The five below tips give you best possible chance to get your home back, whether that means pestering your landlord to fix leaky taps, damp and mould and faulty boilers, or whether it means getting an expert to do some of the heavy lifting for you.
1. Pinpoint the Disrepair and Keep All Correspondence
First of all, you need to pinpoint exactly what the disrepair is. Your landlord is only responsible for major repairs that affect the living conditions. They are not responsible for cosmetic changes to the house, for example.
If the repair is something more serious, like a gas leak, broken woodwork, a leak, faulty electrics, damp and mould, or an animal infestation, then it is more than likely they are liable to fix the disrepair.
You also need to keep a record of all correspondence with your landlord. This includes all texts, emails and letters. Keeping a record of the times you have spoken and the dates will help you later down the line if the matter isn’t resolved.
2. Gather Evidence
Next you need to gather evidence of the disrepair. This will include taking photos and videos of the disrepair. If possible, it is always a good idea to have the date and time on the photo to provide context.
You can also gather evidence of the problems the disrepair has caused you. This includes any personal belongings that have been ruined as a result of a leak or mould, along with any medical notes if you have from a doctor if you have suffered from breathing problems from the mould.
3. Report the Issue to Environmental Health
Next, if your landlord is still not listening, you can report the problems to the Environmental Health department within your local council. An officer will come out and look at your home and can potentially order your landlord to carry out the repairs if they think they are harmful to your health or safety.
Again, keep any evidence and correspondence you get from the Environmental Health Office.
4. Try to Mediate
Taking your landlord to court should always be a last resort. It is always recommended that tenants opt for other types of dispute resolutions before going to court.
Mediation dispute resolution can take place when a landlord and tenant agree to try and resolve their issues by talking either face to face or over the phone, with a member of the mediation team also present.
The mediator can sometimes help people come to agreement with the appropriate steps, with both parties compromising in order to find some common ground.
5. Contact Expert Housing Disrepair Solicitors
The final solution is to head to Housing Disrepair Solicitors. Housing Disrepair Solicitors will tell you whether or not you are in the right, and whether you have a potential claim for compensation.
Not only can you claim for any damaged belongings and medical bills, you can also force your landlord to fix the repair, and claim compensation for any suffering as a result of the disrepair.
Housing Disrepair solicitors will be able to quickly let you know if you are eligible, and most cases are also settled outside of court. Sometimes the landlord simply needs a nudge from a law firm to realise that the tenant is serious.
If you have a disrepair claim, they will take the case on, on a No Win, No Fee basis, meaning you do not pay any legal fees if your claim is unsuccessful.
We hope these five steps can help you get your dream home back from a landlord who won’t listen.