Tenants can now sue their Landlords for cold or moldy houses!

Mold and damp can lead to serious respiratory problems and allergies. There are over a million houses in the UK with these hazards, affecting more than 2 million people.

 

The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming and the birds are singing… This might not be the best time for a law like this one to come into effect but it is never too late.

 

Since the 20th March 2019, the ‘Homes’ (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act allows tenants to sue their Landlord if their house is too cold or moldy. This also includes houses that are too warm, or houses that seem unfit for living. This new regulation aims to give the tenants more rights and force the Landlords to repair and fix problems.

 

The procedure is now much quicker:

As was the case before the Regulation changes, the Tenant should always try and report the problem to the Landlord first. A formal complaint should be made by writing a letter to the Landlord. This letter should include :

 

  • The complaint ;
  • The solution to this issue ;
  • Your rights as a Tenant ;
  • Photographs;
  • Any evidence of how this issue has affected your health or your finances.

 

If the Tenant is dissatisfied with the services, the reparations, or even the time it took for the Landlord to fix the problem, under the previous regulations he could have gone to the Local Council. However, the new Regulations allow the Tenant to directly take the matter to Court. The Court has the power to issue an Injunction forcing the Landlord to carry out the work.

 

It is advised that Landlords should carry out their work within 24 hours if it poses a ‘significant risk of danger to the health, safety or security of a tenant’. Other less urgent repairs are given up to 28 days.

 

This process is an expensive one and one should ensure it is the right option.

If you are suing your Landlord, you might be eligible to Legal Aid if:

 

  • You’re going to be made homeless
  • You’re being discriminated against
  • You’re taking a case to court under the Human Rights Act
  • You have a low income

Do you wish to go for the last step and speak to a qualified solicitor?

SMQ Legal Services will offer you a free 20-minutes appointment with a Solicitor who will advise you on the next steps.

You can give us a call at 01865 246991 or email us at info@smqlegal.co.uk

 

References:

 

https://www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk/residents/understand-complaints-process/

 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6693869/Renters-given-right-SUE-landlords-cold-mouldy-homes-new-crackdown.html

 

https://www.rlaas.co.uk/documents/brands/rlaaslite/code_of_practice.pdf

 

By Isabelle Ponnoussamy

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