05 OCT 2020

Consumer Reclaim – 3 Ways to Handle Disrepair Claims Without the Stress – Our Guide

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As a landlord, there are numerous things you have to take care of for your clients. You have to ensure that everything is in good working order and that your tenants take care of your property. You’re also responsible for any structural repairs and maintenance that make your unit a safe place for your tenants.

However, receiving disrepair claims can be incredibly stressful. Although funding rules have changed to make disrepair claims a little less attractive to tenant lawyers, they’ve persisted in making these, especially counterclaims. Although it’s impossible to completely prevent claims from happening, as tenants often find ways to pursue counterclaims, there are steps you can take to make the process less stressful. Here’s what you need to know:

 

Keep a Record

One way to ensure your success in defending disrepair claims is to keep a record. Although your tenant is responsible for proving their case, courts usually expect most tenants not to keep track of all the problems they report. However, courts expert property owners to have a complete set of records, complete with call logs and sufficiently detailed work orders. 

Having a complete record will come to your favour when dealing with disrepair claims in court. Although there may be a few repair issues that you might not have recorded, the judge is more likely to believe that the tenant’s claims of unanswered repair are false. For this reason, it’s essential to invest time and money to establish sound reporting systems. Doing this will make it easier for you to defend your case.

 

Apprise Your Contractors

Apprising your contractors and repair staff about disrepair claims is crucial as they must also have their own set of accurate records. The more they understand how evidence is given in court and the matters the court will consider, the more prepared they will be. 

However, you may run into a few problems with this. Contractors are usually operating under a tight schedule and with limited resources, meaning they do not have enough time to prepare and compile detailed reports. They also may not understand how vital their role is in the disrepair claim process. Their involvement is crucial, so apprising them on disrepair claims will help you immensely. You can also monitor the paperwork you receive from contractors to ensure that it is free of errors and immediately resolve any uncertainties.

 

Respond Promptly 

One of the easiest ways to minimise the stress of disrepair claims is to respond quickly. The sooner you answer any insinuations of disrepair, the weaker the claim will be. It also allows you the opportunity to carry out necessary works promptly and within a reasonable period. Although “reasonable” is highly subjective, as it primarily depends on the repair’s nature, the best way to approach it is to take care of these issues as soon as possible.

Prompt action will avoid discussions that can devolve into messy arguments, especially about the timeframe and reasonableness. If your tenant fails to cooperate, especially in granting access to complete the repairs, this will fall in your favour. However, if the issue is severe, you’ll need to pursue access actively. You may even get the assistance of a court injunction. 

 

Conclusion

Many landlords face disrepair claims, which can be headache-inducing. If a tenant is especially insistent on your alleged failure to repair issues, it can further complicate the process. However, with these three tactics, you’ll be more prepared to nip these claims in the bud. These are also excellent ways to make dealing with disrepair claims less time-consuming and expensive in the long-term. 

If you’re dealing with mis-sold products, disrepair, or mis-sold insurance, let us know at Consumer Reclaim. We fight to get you the compensation you deserve with our extensive experience in pursuing mis-selling complaints. We also make the claim process as comfortable and straightforward for you as possible. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help! Call us on 0161 348 7670 or via email info@consumer-reclaim.co.uk and one of our friendly yet professional staff members will be able to help you.

Consumer Reclaim Ltd is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in respect of regulated claims management activities, reference number: 835212. Registration is recorded at: https://register.fca.org.uk. Consumer Reclaim Ltd is registered in England and Wales, Company Registration number: 07223077. Information Commissioner Office number: ZA176000. VAT number: 144 4752 12