Disrepair – keeping tenants safe

We’re here to provide safe, sustainable and well-maintained homes. Disrepair is when something we’re responsible for, has not been repaired within a reasonable time of it being reported to us. If that happens, we have let you down and not met our own standards.

Recently we have seen an increase in tenants instructing solicitors (either directly or through claims management companies who knock on doors in your area, social media or leaflets), to begin a disrepair legal claim on their behalf. This can be a stressful process and it can take a long time for a claim to be resolved. There are other ways which might take less time, cost less and be less stressful for you and we would encourage you to consider those before resorting to a legal action.

It can be tempting, especially when many people are struggling with rising costs to enter a contract with a claims management company with promises of financial awards.  However, these companies are not always as they all may seem.

Many solicitors act under a ‘no win, no fee’ type arrangement. However, some of those types of arrangements contain what is known as a ‘success fee’. That is, if you succeed with your claim and compensation (or damages) is payable to you, the solicitors may keep a percentage, if not all that money.

It is also possible that not all the costs incurred with a solicitor will be recovered from the landlord. You could be responsible for paying any difference and this could be hundreds or thousands of pounds.

Sometimes, you have to pay for an insurance premium, to protect you from a large costs bill if you lose your case. If you do not arrange insurance, then you may find that you must pay all the solicitor’s fees yourself.

One tenant recently was ordered by the Court to pay over £3,000 within 21 days for court and legal fees.

If you are not happy with something we’ve done, we would always encourage you to report a new repair on our repair reporter tool on our website or you can speak to one of our team in the Customer Connect Hub on 0300 123 5522.

We always want to listen to you and resolve any issues you may have, if you’re still unhappy with our services or the way we’ve handled a repair, please complete our complaints form.