If your landlord is neglecting his duty to carry out repairs, you might want to take him to court. However, there are certain methods of dispute resolution you should try before pursuing litigation, as this could potentially achieve the result you are hoping for, all the while saving you both time and money.
Housing disrepair claims and alternative dispute resolution
If there is a repair that your landlord is responsible for, it is important to write him or her a letter detailing the nature of the defect, what you would like repaired, and when you would like it the repair to be fulfilled. If you receive no response or your landlord simply refuses to act, your next step should be to contact a solicitor about alternative dispute resolution.
Alternative dispute resolution is a way of resolving disagreements without having to go to court. It can be applied to almost any form of civil dispute, including divorce proceedings, construction disputes and housing disrepair claims. In terms of the latter, you and your landlord will have two options of dispute resolution available:-
The first option is to negotiate with your landlord. Ask a solicitor for advice on your legal position; this will ensure you know what your rights are and what it is that you should insist upon. You may choose to negotiate with your landlord directly in person. If so, you must not to agree to anything you are not happy with as this could be held against you at a later date. Alternatively, you can ask a solicitor to negotiate upon your behalf. This will guarantee your best interests are safeguarded at all times, as a legal expert has the skills and professional knowledge to avoid any pitfalls and get the best possible deal for you. Furthermore, a letter from a solicitor is often sufficient to prompt a landlord into taking action.
The second option is that of mediation. This is when you and your landlord an independent third party (known as a mediator) to discuss your grievances. The mediator is there to guide your meetings and to ensure each person has a fair say; he or she is not there to make a decision on your behalf or even to offer an opinion. After a series of meetings it is hoped you and your landlord will be able to resolve your issues before arriving at a mutually acceptable agreement.
What if alternative dispute resolution fails?
If, however, you are not able to reach a conclusion through either negotiation or mediation, you may want to consider taking action through the courts. This is considered to be a last resort; nevertheless, if alternative dispute resolution fails, pursuing litigation may well be the only route available to you.
If your landlord is refusing to carry out your housing disrepairs and you would like to discuss your options with a legal expert, contact us today at Roskell Davies solicitors. We will be more than happy to suggest what action you should take next. Call 0800 142 2901 or fill in a free online enquiry.