How long does a disrepair claim take?

How long does a disrepair claim take?

How long does a disrepair claim take?

How long does a disrepair claim take?

How long does a disrepair claim take? If you’re a tenant planning to take legal action over housing disrepair, you may be wondering – how long does a disrepair compensation claim take from start to finish? Resolving severe property defects through the courts can be a lengthy process. In this blog, we’ll break down the typical timeline for disrepair claims in England and Wales.

Pre-Action Steps:

Before beginning court proceedings, you must:

  • Notify your landlord in writing about the disrepair and allow reasonable time for repairs (usually 28 days minimum)
  • Get reports from contractors, Environmental Health, etc. evidencing the defects
  • Have a solicitor send a formal “letter before action” to the landlord demanding compensation

These steps can take 2-6 months to complete. This pre-action process is mandatory before filing a claim.

Filing the Claim:

Once the landlord has rejected or ignored the letter before action, your solicitor can file the disrepair claim to the County Court. It will take 2-6 weeks for the court to serve the claim paperwork on the landlord.

The landlord then has 14 days to respond, either admitting fault and proposing a settlement, or defending the claim. If you cannot agree on compensation, the claim proceeds further.

Case Management and Trial:

The court will set out a timetable for exchanging evidence between both parties over 1-3 months. This leads up to a 1-2 day trial where a judge hears arguments and decides on compensation. Waiting times for a hearing date depend on court backlogs, but can take 6-12 months.

The judge can then take up to 6 weeks to hand down their final judgement. If repairs are still required, the judgement can include an injunction forcing the landlord to fix defects within a set timeframe.

Total Timeline:

On average, expect a straightforward disrepair claim to take around 12-18 months from initial notification through to final judgement. Complex cases with appeals may take closer to 2 years.


While lengthy, following formal legal process allows tenants to rightfully claim compensation when landlords fail to provide habitable housing. With patience and persistence, justice can be achieved.

Important links

Housing Disrepair Advice:

Housing Ombudsman: