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How Long Do Landlords Have to Fix Problems in the UK?

When you sign a tenancy agreement to rent a property, be it a traditional brickwork townhouse, a modern flat, or even a sprawling real estate estate in an upscale area of Manchester or elsewhere, your landlord, or their appointed agent, bears the legal responsibility to keep the property in good repair, certified by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. This includes maintaining critical systems like your boiler and heating system, caring for the flooring, walls and even basins, as well as attending to potential issues with ventilation that could cause a detrimental effect such as flooding, which could lead to health and safety hazards, such as asthma. The latter can lead to consequential health issues, including injuries. As one among many homeowners-turned-renters, you might find yourself in a situation where you question how prompt the landlord should be with repairs, what access they have to your belongings in the property, and how long they actually have to fix any issues. Spending money for an expert consultation with housing solicitors can clarify your standing. Rest assured, you also have the option to take the necessary steps and give them a telephone call for immediate actions to relieve your worry and any inconveniences causing pain.

The Repairing Obligations of Landlords

Under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, landlords, or the appointed managing company for the building, in England and Wales must adhere to certain rules. Housing solicitors dealing with tenancy agreements often highlight that any negligence on the side of the landlord when it comes to the maintenance and repair work, including the upkeep of the boiler and other heating systems, can jeopardize their legal positioning. Critical to maintaining a comfortable living environment is addressing any issues with the roof, electrics, or even dissatisfaction arising from flooring complaints. Each facet of these are part of the landlord’s responsibility.

  • Keep the structure and exterior of the property (including drains, gutters and pipes) in good repair
  • Ensure installations for supply of water, electricity and gas are in good repair and proper working order
  • Keep heating and hot water installations in good repair and proper working order

Our team of disrepair solicitors, regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, can provide services to assist clients with tenant rights issues in different parts of the UK including Manchester. In Scotland, we ensure that landlords meet the housing standards at the beginning and throughout the tenancy as mandated under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006. This includes maintaining a habitable space that’s wind and watertight and in all aspects reasonably fit for people to live in.

Landlords who fail to comply with this statute can face financial penalties or even prosecution. Tenants, on the other hand, can use the law to their advantage, negotiating through the fine print of a fee agreement with their housing solicitors to force repairs, or even claim compensation in instances where the disrepair, such as a faulty boiler leading to temperature issues, has caused injury or damage.

Timescales for Landlords to Complete Repairs

The law stipulates a specific timescale for rectifying problems reported by a tenant. These issues can vary from concerns regarding the flooring to issues with the roof— the landlord is expected to promptly respond and complete repairs.

For emergency repairs that risk health and safety, such as gas leaks, burst pipes, and problems that might exacerbate asthma like faulty ventilation systems, the recommended response time is 24 hours.

Urgent repairs that affect comfort and convenience, such as a broken boiler or heating system and blocked drains, should be attended to within 5 working days.

Less urgent day-to-day repairs like minor mould and leaks, or broken fittings, ought to be fixed within 20 working days.

These timescales, while only recommendations, signify what is considered reasonable. If subsequent damage occurs due to the landlord’s lack of attention, tenants have the right to involve disrepair solicitors, regardless of whether you reside in Manchester or elsewhere in the UK. Persisting failure to meet these timeframes may indicate a breach of obligations and a potential case for legal action. Sometimes, factors like severe weather or waiting for specialist parts can delay repairs on elements such as toilets or doors. But it’s the landlord’s responsibility, their duty, to show they are making earnest efforts to resolve these issues promptly.
This commitment, a testament to our service, needs to be apparent in every place on the site, in all aspects, right down to the fine details of heating systems and ventilations. Each element contributes to the overall image of your home, and any water damage or heating issues can dramatically impact the state of your living conditions.

If your landlord fails to fix problems despite repeated requests, you may have a housing disrepair claim and the right to seek financial compensation. This is your public right, regardless of your payment circumstances. This relationship between tenant and landlord must abide by the state of consent where both parties agree to maintain the property. Our team of home and business property specialists, who are members of the Solicitors Regulation Authority, form a dedicated panel available to provide services to help clients fully understand their rights and navigate this complex process in a way that minimises their expenses and stress.

Making a Claim for Housing Disrepair Compensation

You’ll need to gather evidence about the disrepair and its effects as the court will expect a high level of transparency and details from both sides. This can include dated photos of the affected place, including areas like doors or toilets. Don’t forget to document damage to clothes from issues like mould. Also, keep copies of any letter correspondence with the landlord, medical evidence related to health issues, and reports from contractors or Environmental Health.

  • The property has deteriorated from the condition when you moved in
  • You have reported issues to the landlord but they have not completed repairs within a reasonable timeframe
  • The disrepair has caused you discomfort, illness or injury

Compensation intends to cover your losses – both financial and personal. This can include:

How Much Compensation Can I Get?

Damages: Cost of repairs, replacing damaged items, alternative accommodation – perhaps you had to vacate the site due to the extent of disrepair

General damages: An amount for discomfort, stress and inconvenience Special damages: Losses related to injury or impact on health

Awards often range from 25% to 100% of rent. Severe cases with long-term impacts or health conditions spurred by poor living conditions, for example, a lack of proper ventilation or heating system, other infrastructural issues like faulty doors or toilets, can result in higher payouts. Remember, no matter where you are renting, even as far as Manchester, it’s important to know your rights and act accordingly by reporting issues and following up with housing solicitors if needed.In some unfortunate situations, families may suffer from an infestation or an illness, resulting in furniture damages and excess discomfort. This lack of understanding about certain circumstances often leads to unwarranted stress and wear and tear of valued goods.

Our team of experienced housing disrepair solicitors, experts in their field based in Liverpool, can help calculate what costs you might need to cover and what level of damages clients might reasonably expect. Factors considered include the number of damages, the arrangement of property ownership and the nature of the disrepair. Our expertise allows us to provide accurate information and advice to navigate such complexities.

In addition, even if the disrepair itself may seem minor at first glance, its implications and effects can still warrant compensation. Persistent issues like mould or cold can seriously affect the quality of life and health. The suffering of occupants, especially in a family setting, adds a distinct touch of gravity and urgency to the need for addressing these problems promptly.

  • Type and severity of the disrepair
  • Duration it remained unresolved
  • Extent of impact/harm caused to you

Yes – compensation claims can be brought against local authority and housing association landlords as well as private landlords. Should you be dealing with a housing association landlord not aligning with property maintenance obligations, you can rightfully advocate for a fair living environment. Our experts can provide service and guide you on a no-fee basis, making legal assistance more accessible and help reduce any burden of extra expenses.

Can I Claim Against My Council or Housing Association?

Going forward, the process may involve additional stages like writing a formal complaint letter or contacting the Housing Ombudsman before commencing legal proceedings with your housing association landlord. But be assured, that landlord is bound by law, irrespective of being in Liverpool or any other part of the country, to maintain properties. Remember, any fees associated with this process, for instance, getting someone to assess the extent of damage in case of water damage on things like carpets or windows, should be dealt with on a case-by-case fee basis. It’s essential to keep all receipts to ensure every expense is documented for any upcoming contract or for public records.

Social housing tenants, including any member of the household, can claim for housing disrepair cases whether their home is a house or flat. Any form of infestation, severe water leaks, or harmful living conditions in different areas of your home – from the tiles on your stairs to the content of your walls – should be promptly reported to your landlord and local authorities with utmost care. If you or any other person in the house experience any health issues related to these conditions, immediately consult your doctor. Your rights as a tenant should not be compromised due to inconsistencies and negligence on the landlord’s behalf, and you should not have to put up with anything less.

First, ensure you have a clear understanding of the problem and meticulously document its effects on your family and your furniture. Then write a comprehensive list to your landlord explaining why you believe you have a valid claim and request compensation or a resolution. If they deny liability or make an insufficient offer, you can confidently pursue action through a claims management company or the County Court with the addition of our legal experts to guide you.

You can rightfully seek compensation for financial losses like the cost of repairs or damage to possessions, as well as general damages for discomfort, stress and inconvenience. In the unfortunate event of an injury or illness being caused or aggravated because of the disrepair, special damages may also be pursued. Seeking legal consultation can further clarify these rights.


How do I make a claim for housing disrepair compensation?

Claims must be brought within 6 years of the disrepair occurring for standard cases. If the disrepair has caused personal injury, there is a 3-year limit from when the harm occurred, ensuring that landlords are held accountable within this period.

What can I claim for in housing disrepair?

Yes. All landlords, whether council, housing association or private, have repairing obligations. Private tenants can claim compensation through the courts if these duties are breached causing loss and damage. Tenants are not left in the dark when it comes to their rights and can confidently seek legal action against landlords.

How long do I have to make a housing disrepair claim?

Landlords cannot evict tenants just for pursuing legitimate disrepair claims. Retaliatory eviction is strictly prohibited, and section 21 notices are invalid if property defects remain unresolved. This rule preserves the fundamental rights of the tenants and provides peace of mind while seeking justice.

I rent privately – can I still claim for housing disrepair?

Appointing a solicitor or a ‘no win, no fee’ law firm to handle the claim can significantly increase your chances of success. They understand the complex procedures, can accurately value claims, and negotiate reasonable settlement offers with the housing association landlord or private owners. Their expertise cannot be undermined in such technical matters.

Will claiming affect my tenancy rights?

Yes, you can claim against your local authority housing provider through the County Court system. The compensation process is the same as for private sector disrepair claims. Do not hesitate to defend your rights regardless of your property ownership status.

We hope this guide, which is filled with vital content, has helped explain landlords’ responsibilities for their property’s roof, electrics, and general repairs, and how tenants can seek compensation if these duties are neglected resulting in housing disrepair. Don’t suffer in poor conditions – seek advice about your right to decent housing from our team of expert disrepair solicitors. They can navigate the claims management company or court processes for you to ensure you are not enduring deplorable living conditions.