Cold seasons make housing disrepair problems worse

In 2022, the MET office warned us that the temperature was low enough for winter as of 21st December. The freezing conditions lasted for almost two weeks. These conditions bring with them difficulties for those living in rented accommodation. Statistically speaking, your home is likelier to fall into disrepair because of severe weather than it is for any other reason.

If your home is suffering due to adverse weather, your landlord has a duty to repair it. If they do not make these repairs or don’t do them quickly enough, you could claim compensation using a housing disrepair solicitor.

What type of problems do homes encounter due to winter weather?

Your rented accommodation may be subjected to any number of defects brought about by the cold weather. These can include:

  • Damp, mould, and mildew spots appearing in the home
  • Wet walls which erodes plaster
  • Cracks in the walls or foundations
  • Deterioration of exterior brickwork
  • Loosening of cladding
  • Heating and lighting issues
  • Issues with freezing indoors due to poor insulation
  • Broken boilers which affect your heating and hot water
  • Burst pipes
  • Cracked glass can crack due to cold temperatures
  • Wet wood which can swell and force windows from frames and jam doors

The gradual expansion and eventual contraction of wood can cause real problems for your home. As the wood shrinks or grows, it crumbles the supporting plaster. When these wear away, you end up with cracks in the brickwork which could require specialist repair. Of course, as a tenant these are not your repairs to make. If your landlord doesn’t do them for you, you could spend the rest of the winter in cold, unhealthy conditions. A housing disrepair solicitor could help you get these repairs carried out much faster and also help you get the maximum compensation.

What are the most common winter housing disrepairs?

There are lots of disrepairs which happen in winter, but these are ones you will find common to most homes.

1 – Leaks

Leaks are a constant problem in the British weather. We have persistent rain all year around, however, in winter the conditions can worsen to the point of loss of life. Leaking roofs may indicate a replacement is needed and leaking cellars mean waterproofing is needed. Either way, it is your possessions that could get ruined.

2 – Broken Boilers

As soon as the temperature drops below freezing, your boiler is in trouble. The external pipes which feed into your home and into your boiler can easily freeze over. This prevents your boiler from working in the cold. Your landlord has a duty to ensure you are not without heat. If your boiler breaks or even if it just freezes, your landlord has a duty to provide you with help.

3 – Mould, Mildew and Damp

If you don’t effectively clean up the water from the leaks, the damp gets in. Damp is bad for your respiratory health and can destroy your possessions. Your landlord is responsible for clearing it out.

4 – Entry Points

Entry points such as windows and doors suffer swelling in the cold weather and can become defective in severe weather.  Make sure you are always able to fully close and lock your doors so that you are safe and warm.

What if your Landlord won’t make repairs?

If your landlord refuses to make the repairs, or simply doesn’t make them within a suitable timeframe, then you can claim for housing disrepair.  Find a no win, no fee housing disrepair solicitor to represent you and launch a claim for compensation. You will be amazed at how quickly this can force a landlord to act.

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