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If you’ve lived in a council house in the UK, then you’re probably aware that many of them have issues with damp. When left unresolved, damp usually leads to mould, which can cause a number of health problems.
Check out our damp compensation calculator
What most people don’t realise is that there are many different types of damp, so it’s important that you understand which type you have so you can get the correct compensation from your local authority. The main three are rising damp, penetrating damp and condensation damp. The first two are usually the responsibility of the landlord, while condensation damp will be the responsibility of the tenant.
Living with damp in the long term can cause serious health problems, so if your local authority failed to carry out the relevant repairs on the property, you may be entitled to compensation. In this article, we look at how you can get council house damp compensation, as well as how you can report damp issues to the council.
If you are a council tenant and have problems with damp or mould, you may be able to claim compensation. Damp and mould are common problems in council houses, and if they are caused by issues with the exterior or structure of your home and/or affect your health and safety, the landlord must fix these. Once they are aware of the issues, the landlord has to carry out any repairs within a reasonable period. If you think your landlord has failed to do this, you should complain to your local council’s housing department and seek legal advice.
Council tenants have many rights when it comes to damp and mould – your home must also be ‘fit to live in’ for the duration of your tenancy. Not only is the landlord responsible for repairing any problems causing the damp, but they also have to replace any damaged plaster, skirting boards or flooring after carrying out repair work. They do not, however, have to provide you with accommodation during the repairs.
If the landlord of your council house has failed to carry out any repairs or has ignored your requests, you can take your complaint further. Here are a few steps to take when reporting damp to the council:
The first step in getting council house damp compensation is to contact your local authority. You can do this by phone, email, or in person at the council offices. Explain to them that you think there’s a risk to your health and safety because of the dampness. They will ask for more information about the problem and why you think it’s related to dampness. If they agree with you, they’ll visit the property and assess the extent of the damage. The Environmental Health department of your local council will be the one who decides whether or not an inspection of your property is needed.
If you think your home has a bad problem with damp, you can request to have a free inspection of your property. Your local council will send an environmental health officer (EHO) to inspect your home and record any problems. It’s their job to see if they can discover the cause of the damp and mould in the property. The officer will use guidance produced by the government when carrying out an inspection to deem whether the issue is a dangerous enough hazard to take further action.
If the inspector finds that there is a category 1 hazard (which means it could cause serious harm or health problems), they will issue an improvement notice to the landlord. They will have a certain amount of time in which they must fix the problem. If your landlord doesn’t comply with this notice, then the local authority can take action against them to make them carry out any required work.
If you don’t feel like the council did enough to solve the problem, you can put forward a formal complaint and seek a compensation claim.
If the inspection carried out proves that the damp or mould was caused by an external or structural issue with the property and the landlord fails to respond or take action, then they are negligent and could be liable to provide you with some form of compensation. A solicitor can help you put forward a claim, especially if your health and well-being suffered whilst you were living in the property. You may be entitled to a rent repayment order where you could receive up to 12 months’ rent.
If you or a family member experienced a mould-related illness or experienced any mould-related damage to your possessions, you could make a social housing compensation claim or claim against your landlord for the injuries caused.
You can find out more about personal injury claims here or property-related claims here. Alternatively, check out our blog page to read articles about similar types of claims.
If you’re ready to submit a housing disrepair claim, visit our online form page today.
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