We act exclusively for landlords in these types of claims. Tenants frequently bring and issue claims against landlords for damages alleging the landlord hasn’t kept the property in good condition and repair.
The starting point is that the content of the AST and any tenancy agreement will be incredibly important, but the law also implies some rights and obligations. For example section 11 Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 requires landlords to keep in repair the structure and exterior of ‘the dwelling’. This includes items such as drains, gutters and external pipes. Landlords are also obliged to keep in repair and proper working order water, gas and electricity installations that apply for sanitation and items for heating space and hot water. It isn’t possible to contract out of these obligations even within the AST.
We find that very often these claims are pursued by tenants who are defending claims for possession issued by landlords where the landlord themselves are relying on rent arrears. Often the tenant will use allegations of disrepair (and their claim for damages) to set off against the rent arrears that have accrued. This can be incredibly frustrating for landlords not least as even where the disrepair claim has no merit time, and money, can be lost if the issues aren’t tackled.
We have dealt with many disrepair claims ranging from claims which can be disposed of relatively straightforwardly to those that are far more complex. If you are involved in disrepair litigation or think you may have a disrepair dispute developing we are happy to speak with you to give initial informal advice. Simply call 01273 761990 or email [email protected]