If your landlord is refusing to carry out repairs for which he is responsible, you might want to consider pursuing legal action through the courts. This will enable you to enforce repairs, and you may also be able to claim compensation for the damage and inconvenience you have been caused. To find out more, contact a solicitor who specialises in housing disrepair claims.
When is it appropriate to take your landlord to court?
As a tenant, you are obliged to carry out minor maintenance repairs. However, it is your landlord who must accept responsibility for the structure and exterior of the property, sanitary fittings, electrical wiring, heating and hot water, gas appliances and ventilation. If any of these features do fall into disrepair, a landlord should ensure the problem is fixed within a reasonable amount of time.
If a landlord does not address the issue in a prompt fashion, he/she will have failed to meet their legal duty. In this instance, you should write your landlord a letter setting out the exact nature of the repair. If a landlord continues to ignore you, your next step should be to contact a solicitor.
A solicitor who specialises in housing disrepair claims will be able to suggest what options are available to you. Often this will depend upon your type of tenancy and whether or not you are protected from eviction. Your legal expert may suggest forms of dispute resolution, such as mediation and negotiation. If this still does not prove successful, you should consider the route of court action.
What can the court do?
The court will look at the evidence of your claim before deciding if your landlord is failing to meet their legal duty. If the court does reach this conclusion, it can force your landlord to carry out repairs by:-
- Issuing an injunction – this orders a landlord take action by a certain date;
- Issuing an order for specific performance – this orders a landlord to carry out specified repairs by a nominated date;
- Issuing a declaration – this allows you to carry out repairs and deduct the cost from your rent;
- Award compensation – if you make a claim for compensation, the court may also award a financial sum for any damage to you physical health or belongings, and for any inconvenience you have suffered.
How do you begin court action against a landlord?
If you would like to take your landlord to court, you need to speak to a legal expert first. A solicitor will be able to advise you whether litigation is appropriate and, if so, how to begin the process. This will involve collecting evidence and serving a legal notice on your landlord.
Need expert legal assistance?
For a dedicated service, contact us at Roskell Davies solicitors and discuss your situation with one of our legal experts for free.
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