Disrepair for Tenants banner

Services

Disrepair for Tenants

Whether you are a tenant who has recently moved into property that is not up to standard or if you have reported repair issues to your landlord and you have had no response or no action to remedy the disrepair, then you may have a valid housing disrepair claim. Our landlord and tenant solicitors in London have the specialist expertise and experience to represent you with advice and representation tailored to your individual circumstances.

No matter where you or your property are located in the UK, we can advise you on landlord and tenant law and your rights, offering support over the phone and via videoconferencing software such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

OTS Solicitors offer a dedicated disrepair litigation department, advising tenants on their rights and forms of redress including the following:

  • Reporting Disrepair Issues to Landlords and Agents
  • Pre-action Process for Disrepair
  • Letter Before Action
  • Negotiation with Landlords
  • Filing a Disrepair Claim with the County Court
  • Offers for Rent Reductions and Compensation
  • Negotiating Early Surrender

How can OTS Solicitors help?

Our specialised department can represent you in the pre-action stages of disrepair claims including serving a letter before action, negotiation and settlements and submitting a claim under the Pre-Action Protocol for Housing Disrepair Cases. We aim to avoid complex and lengthy litigation processes and approach each case with a view to negotiating suitable settlements and results for our clients in the shortest timeframe possible.

Fees for Disrepair Services

To ensure our clients have a clear understanding of the hourly rates and fixed fees we quote per  case, we have set out below the costs of our services with a range of fees to accommodate work  that spans both straightforward and complex or highly complex cases involving complex leaseholder agreements where it is not clear who is directly responsible for repairs.

Our consultation rate is £200 (+ VAT if applicable) for a 60-minute consultation. This meeting will take place in confidence between yourself and one of our qualified lawyers to establish the full details of your specific circumstances; taking down your full instruction; we will consider all the applicable legislation, policy and any case law that will need to be taken into account in to your case; we will finally have a detailed discussion to advise on your options and merits of success in your case.

This will involve the perusal of documentation including tenancy agreements, communications between parties, agency contracts and detailed chronologies including photographic or video evidence of disrepair.

A costs-benefit analysis and a full explanation of our duties towards you will be provided, with plenty of time for you to ask any further questions for clarification before the end of the consultation.

Following the initial consultation, the following fees may apply:

Pre-action Process under the Protocol:

On average, costs range from £600 (plus VAT) depending on the fee-earners hourly rate and complexity of the case. All figures exclude VAT unless specifically stated.

The work will involve (but is not limited to):

  • Discussing your circumstances in detail and confirming what the realistic prospects are for making a claim and what other options may be available to you
  • Providing you with detailed advice about the law applicable to disrepair, timescales and whether the case has the required merits to bring a successful conclusion
  • Considering the supporting evidence you have provided, including correspondence indicating when the disrepair was brought to the attention of the landlord/agent, contracts and agreements and where necessary, helping you obtain further evidence (such as disclosure and invoices for previous repairs), including taking statements of any relevant witnesses
  • Preparing the detailed letter before action and submitting it on your behalf to the concerned parties, reviewing and advising on responses, negotiating and drafting offers and settlement agreements in addition to negotiating early surrenders. We will assess and advise you on your claim at each stage to enable the client to make an informed decision on how to proceed.
  • We will provide you with detailed advice and assessment about the outcome of each process and any further steps you need to take including any consequences for either party

Letter Before Action Process

Under the disrepair protocol, a letter before action must be sent initially to warn them of the potential housing disrepair claim unless the landlord addresses the issue. Tenants should note that they should first tell their landlord about the repair needed and give a reasonable amount of time for the problem to be fixed (depending on the nature of the repair). It is only if the landlord doesn’t fix the issue that a letter for action and potential claim is required.

Once a letter before action is sent then under the terms of the disrepair protocol, we will request that the  landlord has 21 days to respond. If the housing disrepair isn’t resolved to an adequate standard, We can apply to the county court using the prescribed forms and advising you on all eventualities including the next steps to take if the landlord contests the responsibility of the repairs.

Disrepair Court Action Process:

Disrepair claims are dealt with in the county court under one of three potential routes. For most simple housing disrepair claims such as leaks, mould damage, electrical faults, the small claims court can deal with the application if damages are limited to £10,000 or less. If a housing disrepair claim includes an application for a repair work order the case will only be allocated to the small claims track if both the estimated damages are less than £1,000 and the estimated cost of the repair work is less than £1,000.

A repair work order is referred to as an order for specific performance or a mandatory injunction. The court can also make a declaration that you can sort out the repairs to the property yourself and deduct the cost from future rent.

On average, costs will start from an average of £800 (plus VAT) depending on the fee-earners hourly rate and complexity of the case. All figures exclude VAT unless specifically stated.

Our specialised department will Identify the grounds for the claim by carefully considering the nature of the repairs and the time taken to address the issue(s).

The work will involve (but is not limited to):

  • Taking your instructions and reviewing documentation such as tenancy agreements and correspondence and evidence such as photographs, invoices and witness statements etc.
  • Serving the appropriate claim form. The first step in starting the court process of a disrepair claim application is to file a claim form in the county court
  • Issuing a disrepair claim including drafting and submitting the correct documentation and accompanying the background to your claim
  • Receiving any settlement payment for compensation and sending onto you
  • If the repairs are not addressed within a reasonable period or if your landlord refused to negotiate an early surrender, providing you with advice on next steps and likely costs
  • Matters usually take a minimum of 8 weeks from receipt of instructions from submission of the initial claim. We will always attempt to avoid complex litigation and negotiate a settlement between parties

Important: Your ability to recover your legal costs from the landlord is also affected by the value of your claim, in general if your claim is considered small (under £10,000) you can only recover limited fixed costs from the landlord.

These charges are reviewed annually and we will let you know if the rates increase.

All stated fees may be subject to VAT (Value Added Tax) where applicable and is usually charged at a rate of 20%. However, this may not apply for applicants applying from abroad depending on their individual visa/residency status. We will confirm whether VAT is payable when you instruct us and we can work out if VAT is properly chargeable.

Disbursements (not included in costs set out above):

 Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Some examples of disbursements are (but not limited to) the following:

  • Any court fees for making the possession claim. You will pay this to the court directly as part of the disrepair claim process. The current court fee for this process is £355.
  • Where the court has refused or dismissed the claim, advice and assistance in relation to any further work on the matter
  • Barrister fees which vary depending on complexity of matter, the seniority of barrister and time spent on matter. On average this may cost between £650 - £3000 excluding VAT however these fees may be significantly higher depending on the level of complexity of the case.

Clients intending to instruct on a claim should note the following:

If you need legal advice about starting disrepair proceedings in relation to a residential property then the landlord and tenant team at OTS Solicitors can help you. Call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form for an appointment by video conference or telephone.

Your Questions and our answers about Disrepair for Tenants

Thank you for your enquiry.

This would depend on the circumstances of your tenancy agreement and whether you are a tenant or licensee. Usually notices need to be served on a prescribed form such as section 8 or section 21 for the to be valid notices.

For more information, you can call us on 02039 599123 or contact us here.

Thank you for your enquiry.

You may be in a position to challenge the rent increase and your landlord may then be required to submit a section 13 notice. You should however note that your landlord may take steps to evict you if you do not agree to the increase.

For more detailed information, you can call us on 02039 599123 or contact us here.

Thank you for your enquiry.

Your landlord must get an HMO licence from the council if:

  • there are 5 or more unrelated people living in a shared house

  • there are 2 or more separate households

Your landlord can be fined and ordered to repay up to 12 months’ rent if you live in a HMO that should be licensed but does not have the necessary permissions from the council. There are remedies in the form of rent repayment orders. Our team can assist you with completing this application for rent repayment.

For more information you can also call us on 02039 599123 or contact us here.

Thank you for your enquiry.

It appears that your contract has ended by way of either express or implied surrender. Usually this will be an express surrender if a document was signed agreeing the terms of leaving prior to the end of the tenancy. If both parties show intention to end the tenancy by way of certain actions, this is likely to be an implied surrender.

If you and the landlord have mutually agreed to end the tenancy this is likely to be an accepted surrender of the tenancy early. Depending on your agreement, your landlord may still claim for the outstanding rent.

For more information you can also call us on 02039 599123 or contact us here.

Thank you for your enquiry.

If you had a Tenancy Agreement in place, your deposit should have been protected under a Deposit Protection Scheme (DPS). Any disputes in relation to the deposit should be resolved through this arrangement first.

Your agreement should explain the process and consequences for moving out after the agreed date or end of the tenancy. As any arrears are unrelated to the deposit itself, it is likely that it would only be taken from the deposit with the agreement of the landlord.

For more information you can also call us on 02039 599123 or contact us here.

Thank you for your enquiry.

It appears that you may have a case under implied disrepair legislation and landlords’ duties during a tenancy. There may also be elements of misrepresentation if the landlord or agents omitted or provided misleading information on the condition of the property.

For more information you can also call us on 02039 599123 or contact us here.

Thank you for getting in touch with us.

Your enquiry is being reviewed by our team and one of our solicitors will contact you shortly.

In the meantime, you can also call us on 02039 599123 or contact us here.

Thank you for getting in touch with us.

Your enquiry is being reviewed by our team and one of our solicitors will contact you shortly.
In the meantime, you can also call us on 02039 599123 or contact us here

Thank you for getting in touch with us.

Your enquiry is being reviewed by our team and one of our solicitors will contact you shortly.
In the meantime, you can also call us on 02039 599123 or contact us here

Thank you for your enquiry Ken. As you have mentioned, the legislation has changed in relation to evictions during this period and we suggest that you book a consultation with one of our team by calling 02039 599123 or emailing info@otssolicitors.co.uk

Thank you for getting in touch with us.

Please contact us directly on 02039599123 to discuss this further or contact us here.

Thank you for getting in touch with us.

Please contact us directly on 02039599123 to discuss this further or contact us here.

    Your question will be processed by us in accordance with our Legal Notice and Privacy and Cookies policy. By submitting a question, you consent to such processing and you warrant that all data provided by you is accurate. We reserve the right to display your question.

    The answer will be emailed to you.

    If you would like us to call you back with a more detailed answer.

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.