Disputes involving property repairs can be a nightmare for landlords and tenants – and Duncan Lewis can offer expert advice on property repair matters to landlords and tenants in the private sector or social housing.
Duncan Lewis property dispute solicitors can advise social housing tenants and tenants in the private rental sector on taking action against a landlord for disrepair under Section 604 of the Housing Act 1985 (amended by the Local Government and Housing Act 1989).
Under the Housing Act, landlords have a legal duty to ensure that properties they rent out are fit for human habitation and meet the Government’s Decent Homes Standard, including:
Duncan Lewis can advise tenants whose rental home falls below the legal requirements on how to bring an action for disrepair against a landlord, including compensation for:
Under Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, landlords have a legal duty to keep properties they rent out in a reasonable state of repair and also in a safe condition – including paying for annual Gas Safe checks and providing Energy Performance Certificates for new lettings.
Under Section 4 of the Defective Premises Act 1972, landlords also have a legal duty to ensure tenants are kept reasonably safe from sustaining injury at a rental property.
Duncan Lewis has its own in-house housing department and can advise landlords on cases in which tenants have applied for a court order as a result of alleged disrepair.
Duncan Lewis housing solicitors can also advise landlords on tenants who have failed to fulfil their legal obligations under a lease as a result of:
Rental tenants have six years from the date of disrepair (eg from the date water ingress occurred, or the roof leaked, or damp was found in the property) in which to make a claim for disrepair against a landlord.
Duncan Lewis property dispute solicitors can advise tenants on litigation in disrepair cases, including drafting an initial pre-action letter setting out the details of any claim – and giving notice to a landlord to carry out specified repairs within 21 days.
As part of the Ministry of Justice’s pre-action protocol for property disrepair cases, an application for a court order can also be lodged with the court before being served on a landlord, which can act as a protective measure in property dispute claims.
Tenants should keep a diary of any problems with a rental property – including taking photographs and videos of the problems to back up their case.
Duncan Lewis property dispute solicitors can advise on the level of damages that can be claimed, once the details of a disrepair case have been assessed.
Duncan Lewis can also advise on dispute resolution and mediation as an alternative to court action against a landlord in disrepair cases.
Duncan Lewis property dispute solicitors can usually offer clients wishing to take legal action in a property repairs dispute a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) to fund their case.
Duncan Lewis property dispute solicitors also offer a fixed fee arrangement for the initial assessment of a case involving a property repairs dispute, so our clients know exactly how much they will be paying from the outset.
Tenants taking legal action over property repairs may be eligible for Legal Aid if:
For expert and effective legal advice on disputes over Property Repairs, call Duncan Lewis Property Dispute Solicitors on 020 7923 4020.