New figures gathered by Inside Housing show how housing disrepair claims against social landlords have been rising over the past few years. Grainne Cuffe reveals a breakdown of the figures, why claims are on the rise and what can be done to halt this concerning trend.
My little boy is still sharing a room with me – he’s 10 years old and has never had his own room because his is smothered with damp and rot,” says Mary* (not her real name). Mary is a Lambeth Council tenant. She has lived on the Leigham Court Estate for two decades. During that time she has suffered with leaks, damp, mould and cracks in the walls. The cost of keeping warm in winter has put her up to £3,000 in debt.
Despite many requests for repairs, nothing was done. Two years ago, feeling she had no other option, Mary went to Citizens Advice. She met a solicitor and with his help brought a legal disrepair claim against Lambeth. The council agreed to settle and pay £10,000 in compensation.
“I wish – and this is the God’s honest truth – that they had used that money to fix this house”
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If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, for immediate assistance contact the tenant helpline on freephone 0800 093 8855.