As a law firm specialising in assisting Tenants in housing disrepair cases, we were concerned by the recent press release from the Housing Ombudsman of the 24th January 2023. The Ombudsman had found serve maladministration within Leeds City Council led to a Tenant living for two years in a damp property – awarding the tenants £1,000 in compensation.
From our experience, this type of maladministration can have a detrimental effect on residents’ lives, emotionally and physically. In some cases, tenants have the ability to pursue legal action for not only disrepair and also personal injury caused by the condition of the property affecting their health.
In the reported case, the negligent actions of the landlord have caused the residents to live in disrepair for over two years. This was despite the tenants reporting and chasing their landlord for updates on the repairs on multiple occasions. Sadly, their concerns were met with no successful remedy. The Housing Ombudsman, Mr Richard Blakeway, stated, “The landlord repeatedly failed to complete repairs even though it was made aware of outstanding works over a prolonged period”.
Despite The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 Section 11(1) stating that the landlord is responsible for keeping the following in repair and proper working order, this is another sad example of social landlords not adhering to their end of the bargain. We have all seen the recent heartbreaking story of Awaab Ishak, the toddler whose premature death was due to the mould in his social housing property.
This is a pattern we at SBW Law would like to see change so that tenants no longer have to live in disrepair and risk their health. We feel it is a time to take immediate action and ensure change so tenants can be heard. If not now, when?
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