Is your tenant claiming you have not carried out the required repairs in your property? If you are disputing any disrepair claim, or would like advice on how to proceed, our Landlord solicitors can help.
As a landlord, you have a legal responsibility to ensure that the property your tenants live in is properly maintained and fit for purpose. There will be times where landlords are required by law to carry out repairs.
When a tenant makes a housing disrepair claim against you, your response will often influence the outcome, whether it is positive or negative. It is vitally important to ensure that every bit of communication is carried out with this in mind.
Defending Housing Disrepair Claims
Our Landlord solicitors can assist landlords where we believe the validity of the disrepair claim is in question. In a lot of housing disrepair cases, tenant claims for compensation are unfair or unfounded.
Tenants need to inform you of any disrepairs before filing any official compliant, for example. They then need to allow you time to actually carry out the repairs.
You also need to be aware of the legal obligations regarding disrepair that are set out in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. While it is likely your tenancy agreements goes above and beyond the legal requirement, you must be willing to stand by your responsibilities and those responsibilities only.
If, for example, the tenant wants a minor repair carrying out, or wants to redecorate, and you have set out that you will only carry out major repairs, then there may be no grounds for a disrepair claim.
What repairs must a landlord carry out?
Housing disrepair that landlords must fix can include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Broken or faulty heating systems
- Faulty gas, electricity, or water supply
- Damp walls and leaking pipes
- Damaged and worn external walls
- Rotting window and door frames
- Unsafe flooring and staircases
- Vermin infestation
If your property is suffering from any of the above, and you are refusing to fix the problem for your tenant, you may be subjected to an eligible housing disrepair claim.
Our Liverpool, Manchester and St Helens team can determine whether the disrepair claim is adequate.
How long do I have to carry out the repairs?
There is no set legal time in relation to when the repairs must be carried out, and each landlord will have a different circumstance. You do, however, have to respond to any written complaint by a tenant within 14 days.
This response should set out what you intend to do to remedy the problem, and include a reasonable timeframe for carrying out the repairs.
Once a landlord has sent their response, they have what is accepted as “reasonable time” to carry out the work. Under guidance for the Retaliatory Eviction and the Deregulation Act 2015, the Government states:
The Government supports a bigger, better and more professional private rented sector. Tenants can expect to receive good quality accommodation, and to have necessary repairs carried out within a reasonable time.
Disrepair that is affecting your tenants’ health will need to be carried out within two weeks.
How can Smooth Commercial Law help?
If you are a landlord and need assistance with defending a disrepair claim, our expert team of Landlord Solicitors can assist you. Our Liverpool, Manchester and St Helens solicitors understand the challenges faced by landlords, and we are here to help.
If a tenant has filed a claim against you and you are looking for your next steps, we can discuss your options. We can provide advice in relation to your communication with the tenant, and let you know whether the claim has any validity. We can also advise on your tenancy agreement and assist you if you need to evict a problem tenant.
Our Liverpool, Manchester, and St Helens team can assist landlords with legal advice and information housing disrepair claims. We have years of experience in helping landlords with various complex legal issues.
To arrange a free initial consultation in relation to defending housing disrepair claims with our Liverpool, Manchester, St Helens, and North West Solicitors, you can call 0800 046 9976 or get in touch via a contact form on this page.