Housing Disrepair Claims
Leading Housing Disrepair Lawyers London
Osbornes Law know how to win housing disrepair claims for our clients. We understand how frustrating it can be living with housing disrepair and poor housing conditions, and the impact it has can have on your daily life. Read on to find out how our housing disrepair lawyers can help you today.
William Ford Partner
“The practice is ‘undoubtedly one of the best in the business‘ and has a strong reputation for complex disrepair cases and possession claims against local authorities and housing associations.”
“Osbornes are always very good at dealing with complex cases. They are a very knowledgeable and experienced team.”
Housing disrepair advice from Osbornes Law
In most tenancies repairing obligations are implied into the terms of the tenancy. The repairing obligations require a landlord to keep in repair the structure and exterior of the property and keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the property for the supply of water, gas, electricity, sanitation, space heating, and heating water.
It is not possible for a landlord to contract out of their repairing obligations.
If you own a leasehold property the freeholder’s repairing obligations will be contained in the terms of your lease.
Depending upon the cause of the problems in your home we may be able to bring a claim in the County Court seeking an order for repairs to be complete, as well as seeking financial compensation. Alternatively, in some situations proceedings can be brought in the Magistrates Court in relation to housing disrepair claims.
Specialist housing disrepair solicitors
Our team of specialist housing solicitors is one of the largest in London. We specialise in helping people who are living in satisfactory housing conditions bring a claim for housing disrepair. We have successfully brought claims against local authorities, housing associations and private landlords. Our housing disrepair lawyers are part of a limited number of firms in London and England who are recognised as specialising in housing issues, in the leading legal guide, The Legal 500 and Chambers UK.
What you can expect from our lawyers
When you contact us we will ask you for details of the housing disrepair issues that you are dealing with. We will also ask you for details of your tenancy. In some instances we may ask you to take pictures of the damage in your home. Once we have gathered the relevant initial information we will be able to let you know whether you can bring a claim for housing disrepair. We will also discuss funding options available to you.
"The team explains things clearly, is very responsive and goes the extra step to help those who need it."
"I was impressed and grateful from the very beginning - the team are extremely detailed, very thorough, helpful and reassuring at the same time. I would absolutely recommend Osbornes Law."
"Osbornes Law is efficient and focused, and clearly prioritises the client's interests."
‘Osbornes are very approachable; in a time where many firms are unwilling to take on cases that do not look promising, they are prepared to look at difficult situations and find a way to assist their clients.
"Osbornes is one of the firms that I consistently recommend. Excellent service, and thorough and knowledgable lawyers."
‘From the very first moment, I was aware and grateful to have been put in touch with Osbornes. The expertise, advice, leaving no stone unturned right from the first minute until the very last, I would most certainly recommend every single time.’
"The associates have a thorough knowledge of the area of law, communicate effectively and are incredibly easy to work with."
"They are a firm that likes a challenge and are prepared to do the groundwork to develop cases, even if it means much preparation without remuneration."
"It is clear the firm put the interests of the client first at all times."
"There’s a real sense of team ethic. It’s clear that internal communication and case recording are strong because if a solicitor handling a case is away the person covering is fully up to speed, has the necessary documents available to them and nothing falls through the cracks."
"If a short deadline comes up on an urgent case, solicitors are active in collaborating to ensure it can be met."
"The practice is ‘undoubtedly one of the best in the business‘ and has a strong reputation for complex disrepair cases and possession claims against local authorities and housing associations."
"Osbornes are an exceptional team. They have a wealth of housing experience and knowledge that is ‘top notch’. Clients are safe in their hands. As colleagues, they have a fantastic working relationship with each other and, feeding off of each other’s expert knowledge, their solicitors work to ensure that no stone is unturned."
"The team at Osbornes is inspired by its leader Will Ford, a truly first-rate, modern lawyer’s lawyer. The team have blossomed under his Will and are now packed with conscientious, dedicated and excellent lawyers who always give their clients 100%."
"Alex McMahon – thorough and committed. Very easy to work with."
"A committed and well-organised team with a good knowledge of the law and who work hard to secure a good outcome for their clients"
"Osbornes has an impressive social housing team and the quality of their work that I have seen is very high. Will Ford is a very well-regarded figure in the housing law world and leads a team of high quality and committed lawyers."
"Osbornes provide an incredibly high-quality service to their clients. The firm treats its legal aid clients with the same respect and commitment as if they were important private clients, which is rare and admirable. Their housing solicitors are also highly skilled and knowledgable."
"This is an outstanding firm with great attention to detail. They work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for their clients. They have excellent client care skills and are extremely organised."
"They are at the forefront of legal developments in the field of social housing and community care. They are committed to using their multidisciplinary expertise to achieve the best possible outcomes for clients."
"This a great team - the quality of their work is amazing and they are very professional"
"An exceptional outfit. They take on difficult cases, fight hard and win."
"Osbornes team is noted for cross-practice expertise in areas such as housing and community care, which it brings to bear in disrepair, possession and homelessness cases involving vulnerable adults, individuals with language difficulties, the elderly and those with no recourse to public funds."
The social housing team is friendly, approachable and genuinely care about its clients.
A broad knowledge places the social housing department one step ahead of others when it comes to community care knowledge.
The social housing department always go the extra mile.
The social housing team has a strong track record in representing tenants in claims against local authorities and housing associations, with particular expertise in complex disrepair and possession cases.
Osbornes is commended for its 'rare level of commitment'.
Housing Disrepair FAQs
What sort of funding is available for housing disrepair cases?
The following types of funding are available in housing disrepair cases: Conditional Fee Agreements (“CFAs”) also known as “no win no fee” agreements – We retain discretion over whether to act under a CFA and we cannot guarantee that this form of funding will be available in all cases. A decision upon whether to act under a CFA will be taken following a risk assessment to ensure that the particular case is suitable for this type of funding. If you win your case, you may have to pay a ’success fee’ and any insurance premium out of your compensation. You will also be liable to pay the costs incurred in the case, but Osbornes Law will seek to recover these costs from your opponent, as the winning party is normally awarded their legal costs against the losing party. If your case is lost, Osbornes Law will not be paid for the work we have done on your case. You may be able to obtain what is known as ‘after the event’ insurance to cover the risk of you having to pay your opponent’s costs in the event that you lose your case. Legal Aid – Legal Aid is available for disrepair cases subject to an assessment of the individual’s financial circumstances. If you contact us and provide us with figures of your income and expenses, we will be able to do an initial assessment to let you know whether or not you are likely to qualify for Legal Aid. However, legal aid funding only covers bringing a claim to ensure repairs are carried out to your home, and does not cover a claim for compensation. If you also wish to pursue a compensation claim this would need to be funded separately. Private funding – we will be able to advise you about our private rates and outline the work we will carry out if you decide to instruct us on this basis.
What is penetrating damp?
Damp occurs when the housing disrepair in the structure of the building allows water to enter the building from the outside. Penetrating damp is usually caused by structural problems in the building such as faulty guttering or roofing which your landlord/freeholder is usually responsible for maintaining.
Are there things you cannot bring a housing disrepair claim for?
You can only bring a disrepair claim for damage to your home where that damage has been caused by disrepair. If the problem arises from an inherent defect in the property which is not caused by disrepair, then this is not something for which you can bring a housing disrepair claim. However, you may be able to bring a claim under The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, which is discussed below, or under environmental health legislation.
What is condensation based damp?
This is where the dampness in your home is not caused by water penetrating from outside but arises due to the conditions in your home. This may be due to a lack of ventilation or poor design. Condensation dampness does not occur due to disrepair, and would not form part of a claim for disrepair. However, it may be possible to bring a claim under The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, which is discussed below, or under environmental health legislation.
What is the meaning of the term ‘fitness for habitation’?
The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 came into force on 20 March 2019. The Act applies to new tenancies, of less than 7 years, granted on or after 20 March 2019 (but will apply to all such tenancies after 20 March 2020). The Act requires that a property that is rented is: (a) Fit for human habitation at the time the lease is granted or otherwise created or, if later, at the beginning of the term of the lease, and (b) Will remain fit for human habitation during the term of the lease. In considering whether or not a home is unfit for human habitation, the following will be considered: repair, stability, freedom from damp, internal arrangement, natural lighting, ventilation, water supply, drainage and sanitary conveniences, facilities for preparation and cooking of food and for the disposal of waste water; in relation to a dwelling in England, any prescribed hazard; A house will be considered to be unfit for human habitation if one of more of the above apply and it is not reasonable for someone to occupy the house in the condition that it is in.
Notifying your landlord of housing disrepair
If there are problems with housing disrepair you must bring this to the attention of your landlord by providing notice. Below are a list of helpful steps you should take prior to contacting a lawyer:
- You should always aim to notify your landlord in writing where possible so that you have a written record of notice having been provided.
- You should keep clear records of what the problems at your property are, when they arose, and when you notified you landlord of them.
- If the problem is not resolved promptly it is also likely to be worth contacting your local authority (if they are not also your landlord). The Council has powers to serve various notices in relation to conditions in your home.
- You should always provide access to your landlord to inspect the property and to carry out repairs. A failure to provide access will be a defence to any housing disrepair claims.
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Our Housing Disrepair Team View the whole team
William Ford Partner
Housing and Social Care
Muna Adam Solicitor
Sean Hughes Paralegal
Housing and Social Care
Rory Matheson Solicitor
Housing and Social Care
Tom McHale Trainee Solicitor
Housing and Social Care
Alex McMahon Senior Associate
Housing and Social Care