What to do if property is uninhabitable?
What to do if property is uninhabitable? No tenant should have to live in an uninhabitable rental property. If your council or housing association home in England or Wales is in severe disrepair and unfit to live in, you have important legal rights. In this blog post, we’ll explain what to do next if you find yourself in uninhabitable social housing.
Definition of Uninhabitable:
For a property to be legally uninhabitable, it must have serious health and safety risks that make normal occupation unsafe and unreasonable. This could include issues like:
- Major damp, mould growth, water damage or serious structural damage
- Faulty electrics, gas, water or heating systems
- Infestations of rats, mice or dangerous insects
- Lack of adequate heating, water or lighting
If your home has defects like these that cannot be easily resolved, it may be classified as unfit for habitation.
Your Rights as a Tenant:
Under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, your landlord must provide a property that is habitable and in good repair. If your home is uninhabitable, you have the right to require your landlord to carry out repairs within a reasonable time.
You also have the right to seek legal remedies, such as:
- Withholding rent until repairs are made
- Seeking a rent rebate for the reduced value of the property
- Terminating the tenancy due to breach of contract
- Suing your landlord for failing to provide a habitable home
What to Do Next:
- Notify your landlord in writing about the problems and give them a chance to repair the property.
- Contact your local council’s Environmental Health team for an inspection if the problems persist.
- Seek advice from a housing solicitor or tenants’ rights group about taking formal legal action.
- Find emergency temporary accommodation if the property poses immediate risks.
As a tenant, you always deserve a decent and habitable place to live. Use the law to stand up for your housing rights if your home is unfit to live in. Stay safe by taking action promptly against any uninhabitable property issues.
Housing Disrepair Advice: https://housingdisrepairadvice.org/contact
Housing Ombudsman: https://www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk/