Mention the word ‘landlord’ to some people and it will yield a reaction of dread or intense anger. Stories of landlords from hell are all too common, and while most are genuine and responsible, a small number of landlords ignoring their legal duties have allowed the few to tarnish the name of the many. If you find yourself in a situation whereby a landlord is refusing to carry out repairs that you feel are his or her responsibility, there are steps you can take.
Build a case
If a landlord is flat out refusing to do repairs or is ignoring your repeated requests, it may be that you have to take legal action; but before doing this you will need to build a strong case, which requires the help of a home or flat inventory company.
An inventory report is generally carried out before a tenant moves into a property and after they move out. However, it is possible to have in-depth reports quarterly, yearly, or at the mid-point in a tenancy agreement. By compiling a report, home or flat inventories can show clear evidence of damage and how a property has deteriorated since a previous report.
In addition to this, you should compile your own portfolio of evidence, by taking photographs of required repairs, copies of medical notes showing proof of your health being affected by the problem, receipts for any money spent on trying to fix the problem, and copies of letters sent to a landlord in relation to repairs.
While building a case, you should continually write to your landlord about the issue.
Contact Housing Standards Team
The next step is to contact your local council housing standards team. Housing standards are committed to ensuring all properties within their borough meet acceptable living conditions. Housing standards will ask for details and evidence of disrepair as well as name and contact details of the landlord. They will then arrange to visit the property and inspect the damage. At this time, the landlord will be contacted and given the opportunity to undertake all repairs. If he or she fails to do so, the council may serve statuary notices, followed by court action.
Taking legal action
It may be possible to take your landlord to court where an order can be given for necessary repair works to be carried out and possible compensation paid to you for inconvenience, damage to personal property and health caused by repairs not being done. Before taking this step though, you should be aware that court action can be a long and expensive process and should always be a last resort.
It is essential that you speak to your solicitor or to Citizen’s Advice before making a decision on legal action, and find out if you are eligible for legal aid. The evidence compiled by a home and flat inventory company and yourself will ensure you stand a good chance of winning in court; however, only ever proceed after having received comprehensive legal advice.
Photo sources: roaringapps.com – everythingsimple.com
Keep up to date: Free newsletter
You might also like
What landlords need to know about Smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarm verificationUpload on March 1, 2021 by Lydia Horsley
Are you keeping your tenants safe and your property protected? Are you sure that it has fully functioning smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors installed? Here’s a reminder of your responsibilities to your tenants as their landlord. What are your responsibilities? Regulations for private sector landlords were introduced in October 2015 detailing a legal responsibility [...]READ MORE
Rental property visits during lockdownUpload on March 1, 2021 by Lydia Horsley
Despite the challenges of lockdown, landlords and property agents still have responsibilities to tenants to maintain their properties. At No Letting Go, we have tailored our service to ensure that we can still deliver regular property checks safely and effectively even when we cannot physically visit a property. Keeping priorities in check The landlords and [...]READ MORE
How you can become a No Letting Go franchise ownerUpload on February 8, 2021 by Lydia Horsley
At No Letting Go, we are very proud of the market-leading property management franchise business we’ve built together with our franchisees. As we continue to grow, we thrive on working with dynamic and driven individuals looking for the opportunity to run their own business, and we’re looking for new business partners. What we do at [...]READ MORE
What does good inventory management consist of?Upload on January 18, 2021 by Lydia Horsley
A property inventory process is crucial if a landlord wants to protect themselves against picking up the bill for property repairs caused by a tenant. However, to be useful during a dispute, especially if the matter goes to court, it’s important that the inventory has been thoroughly completed as part of a well-managed process so [...]READ MORE