The importance of reporting your disrepair or housing issue to your Landlord in a timely fashion can often be the leading factor in successfully bringing a claim against your Landlord.
I am often asked by our clients for advice in relation to Housing Disrepair matters and one of the most valuable tips is to report your issues to your Landlord in a timely fashion.
Your landlord is obliged to keep in repair:
The structure and exterior of a property, for example, pipes, drains and gutters
Installations in the property, for example, heaters, the boiler, water, electricity and gas
Internal structural items, for example, walls, stairs and railings
If your landlord fails to keep the above items in repair, you may have the basis for a housing disrepair claim. In order to bring such a claim, it is extremely important that your landlord is aware of the problems before you instruct solicitors. If they don’t know about the problems, it follows that they can’t carry out the necessary repairs.
From experience, tenants will report issues less and less frequently over time for a number of reasons; for example, if the landlord ignores the complaints and fails to carry out repairs or blames the tenant for the problems. Does this sound familiar to you? It is understandable that you would get fed up hearing the same old excuses and lose confidence in your landlord but this is not a reason to stop reporting. Here are some tips that will help strengthen your case.
How often to report
The general rule is: you can never report too much. Aim to contact your landlord at least every two weeks. If you are suffering an urgent problem, such as a lack of hot water or heating, it would not be unreasonable to contact your landlord on a daily basis.
Reporting by telephone
Call your landlord’s dedicated reporting line and write down the following:
Who you spoke to
The date and time of the call
A list of the problems you have reported
Reporting by post
Send a letter to your landlord, setting out all of the problems. Keep a copy of the letter and send it by recorded delivery so you have evidence of the letter being sent.
You can often use your landlord’s website to report the problems online via their own website. Take a screenshot of your submission and keep this along with any reference numbers you receive in response.
Reporting by email
Alternatively, you can email your landlord. As stated above, set out all of the problems in your property. This way you will have a full and clear record of the nature of the complaint as well as the time and date it was sent.
Keep a record of any responses received from your landlord. All of these notes will act as evidence in the event that you need to bring a housing disrepair claim.
If you want to discuss your personal circumstances in greater detail, please contact the head of our family department Louise Shawcross, who can help move your case forward today.
Or if you want to know more about our award-winning Housing Disrepair team, look at our Housing Disrepair department page and watch our informative video as to the services available.