- February 8, 2017
- By Eleanor Solomon
- 13 comments
How much is a claim for housing disrepair worth?
If you are a tenant or leaseholder and your landlord has failed to carry out repairs which they knew about to your home, you are likely to be able to ask the court to award you three things: an order compelling your landlord to complete the repairs, compensation, and your legal costs. There are a lot of different factors deciding how much compensation you will be awarded, and two identical cases before different judges could come out with different results. This is a basic guide to the kinds of factors that will be taken into account.
Compensation for ‘pain, suffering and loss of amenity’
You will be compensated for ‘pain, suffering and loss of amenity’ for the inconvenience and distress caused by having had to live in a property in disrepair, or possibly for having to leave your home as a result of the disrepair. This is calculated in relation to your rent if you are a tenant, or the market rent for your home if you were to let it out to an assured shorthold tenant if you are a leaseholder. You essentially will receive a percentage of your rent back for the period in which you have had to live with disrepair. It doesn’t matter if someone else pays your rent, such as the Housing Benefit department, this is just a way of calculating how much compensation you should get rather than actually getting some of your rent back.
The percentage that you receive will depend on how severe the disrepair, and therefore your loss, is. If your property is completely uninhabitable but you have been living in it anyway you will receive 100%. This is extremely rare. An award of 100% would be possible for a property with no heating or hot water, perhaps no water or electricity supply at all, extremely severe damp, and structural damage meaning it was dangerous. It is much more usual for judges to make awards around the 25% to 50% range. There is no hard and fast rule, it will be decided by comparing past cases to yours.
Disrepair: plumbing leak into one room for 4 years continuously.
Value of rent for the whole period of the claim: £28,800
Compensation at 25%: £7200
Compensation for lost items
If your belongings have been damaged as a result of disrepair, for example water damaged by a leak, or you have been put to extra expense, for example having to pay higher heating bills due to draughty windows, you will also be compensated for this loss.
You will not usually be awarded the replacement value for an item, but a sum to reflect the fact that the expected lifetime of the item has been cut short. For example, if your five year old carpet which cost £1000 was ruined by a water leak, and could have otherwise been expected to last 15 years, you might receive around £650: you have lost around two thirds of the carpet’s expected life.
The amount you receive will also depend on the proof you are able to provide that you had and lost the items, for example receipts and photographs. If you don’t have proof you may be awarded something, but usually less than if you did have proof.
* Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.*
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