A Gloucestershire mum has been awarded £1800 in compensation after enduring years of damp and mould in her children’s bedrooms – but research shows tenants are still paying close to £500 a time for repairs which should be being done by their landlords.
The unnamed woman – a tenant of Sanctuary Housing – complained for almost two years about damp and mould in her bedrooms, kitchen, living room and bathroom; blocked pipes; central heating defects; faulty windows and broken bathroom equipment.
Legal intervention saw the woman awarded compensation of £1,836.55 and her landlord forced to bring the property up to standard.
The case comes after research showed that renters are being left £443 out of pocket on average by the cost of repairs which are actually the responsibility of their landlords.
22% of tenants reported paying for repairs their landlord had refused to address, with 33% paying for plumbing repairs and 23% forking out to have electrical issues resolved.
The research also showed 19% tenants do not know who is responsible for repairs in a rental property
Ajay Jagota, founder of specialist claims management firm Veriwise, commented:
“A lot of people – one in five people in fact - don’t know who is responsible for repairs in a rented home, which is probably how so many of them end up hundreds of pounds out of pocket for the cost of work which is not their responsibility when they could actually have been entitled to compensation for finding themselves in that position.
“It’s shameful that so many social and private landlords are prepared not only to leave their tenants in unsafe or unsanitary conditions, but are even happy for them to foot the bill for putting things right – it would be like expecting NHS staff to buy their own PPE.
“Across the country there are hundreds of thousands of people living with a landlord not fixing things and they come to Veriwise with heart-breaking questions like ‘do landlords have to provide central heating?’ and ‘how can a landlord leave you without water?’
“As a rule of thumb, your landlord is responsible for heating and hot water, gas appliances and sanitary fittings - including pipes and drains, toilets, baths and sinks. But people don’t know this, or simply don’t have the legal skills or resources to protect their rights. Claims management firms like Veriwise are there to make sure they get justice”.
Veriwise takes on housing disrepair claims on behalf of renters, negotiating with councils or private landlords to get property maintenance issues fixed quickly and claim compensation for renters from landlords. In cases where the landlord does not comply Veriwise have a panel of solicitors who can take the case to court to ensure the landlord complies and pays any compensation.
All renters have to do is submit the issues they are experiencing with their rented home online, allowing Veriwise to identify legal breaches and follow them up with landlords to rapidly resolve the issue and seek compensation where appropriate. Veriwise is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.