What are the damages for housing disrepair?
If your landlord fails to keep your property in good repair, you may be entitled to compensation for the damage caused. This is known as a housing disrepair claim.
There are two types of damages that you can claim for in a housing disrepair case:
- General damages: These are designed to compensate you for the inconvenience, stress, and loss of amenity that you have suffered as a result of the disrepair.
- Special damages: These are designed to reimburse you for any financial losses that you have incurred as a result of the disrepair, such as the cost of repairing or replacing damaged belongings.
General damages are typically calculated as a percentage of your rent for the period of time that the disrepair has been present. The percentage will vary depending on the severity of the disrepair and the impact that it has had on your life.
For example, if you have had to live with a damp and mouldy property for several months, you may be awarded a general damages award of 20% or more of your rent for that period.
Special damages are more straightforward to calculate, as they are based on the actual financial losses that you have incurred.
For example, if you have had to pay for a hotel room because your property was uninhabitable due to a leak, you can claim for the cost of the hotel room as a special damage. You can also claim for the cost of repairing or replacing any belongings that have been damaged by the disrepair.
Other types of damages
In some cases, you may also be able to claim for other types of damages, such as:
- Aggravated damages: These are awarded to compensate you for additional distress and suffering that has been caused by the landlord’s conduct. For example, if the landlord has deliberately ignored your complaints about the disrepair, you may be awarded aggravated damages.
- Exemplary damages: These are awarded to punish the landlord for particularly serious or reckless conduct. For example, if the landlord has knowingly rented out a property that is unsafe to live in, you may be awarded exemplary damages.
How to make a housing disrepair claim
If you believe that you may be entitled to compensation for housing disrepair, you should first contact your landlord and give them a reasonable opportunity to repair the property.
If the landlord fails to repair the property within a reasonable time, you can then make a housing disrepair claim. You can do this by contacting a solicitor or by making a claim directly to the court.
If you are successful in your claim, the court will award you damages to compensate you for the inconvenience, stress, and financial losses that you have suffered.
Housing Disrepair Advice: https://housingdisrepairadvice.org/contact
Housing Ombudsman: https://www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk/