WHAT IS HOUSING DISREPAIR?
Under the law of England and Wales, 'Housing disrepair' is the term used to denote any cause of action (effectively, a reason to bring a claim through the court) that a tenant can bring against their landlord for their failure to undertake repairs on the properties that they rent out. Housing disrepair encapsulates any claim that could be brought pursuant to:
The obligations and duties of each party to the tenancy agreement will be written into the agreement itself, however, the Acts mentioned above imply terms into the tenancy agreement which the landlord cannot unburden themselves of. These implied terms impose a legal duty of care on the landlord, which also extends to all who may reasonably be affected by the defects.
As the colloquialism goes, the long and short of it is this; landlord's are responsible for keeping properties in a state of repair, which means keeping the property (eg, its structure and its content) in a good condition. However, landlord's are not responsible for maintaining the whole of their property and tenant's are expected to treat their rented accommodation in a 'tenant-like manner', a phrase which, being a legal term of art, has its roots in old case law, specifically, in the case of Warren v Keen  2 All ER 1118, wherein the judge noted that;
"the tenant must take proper care of the place. He must, if he is going away for the winter, turn off the water and empty the boiler. He must clean the chimneys, where necessary, and also the windows. He must mend the electric light when it fuses. He must unstop the sink when it is blocked by his waste. In short, he must do the little jobs about the place which a reasonable tenant would do........In addition, he must, of course, not damage the house, wilfully or negligently; and he must see his family and guests do not damage it: and if they do, he must repair it.’"
if you are unsure whether the problems you are facing are issues that would fall under the category of 'housing disrepair', the following list provides a non-exhaustive summary of defects which, under law, have been accepted as representing a valid instance of disrepair;
If you live in a shared house (known as a 'house of multiple occupancy' or HMO) then pursuant to the section 11 of the Housing Act 1985 your landlord is obligated to maintain and keep in good repair all areas which you, as the tenant, have shared use of.
If you find yourself suffering any of the above defects , contact us immediately.
If your rented property is suffering from any of the defects contained on this page, or you are unsure as to whether your problem falls into any of the highlighted catgeories, then feel free to contact us to find out more.