Evidence you need for a housing disrepair claim
Are you a tenant struggling with housing disrepair? It can be frustrating and stressful to get your landlord to take action. But did you know that there are ways to gather evidence of the disrepair to build a strong legal case? In this article, we will share expert tips on how to gather evidence of housing disrepair that will hold up in court. Whether you are dealing with damp, mould, leaks, or other types of disrepair, read on to learn how to gather the evidence you need for a successful case.
Why do you need evidence in housing disrepair claims?
If you decide to pursue a housing disrepair claim against your social landlord, the responsibility lies with you to prove that your landlord has neglected their legal obligation to fix the rental property. Additionally, you will need to demonstrate that as a result of their negligence, the housing association or council has caused you some form of harm, including:
- damage to your belongings,
- financial losses,
- physical injuries.
Evidence you have reported the issue
Firstly, you need to prove that you have informed your housing association or local council about the disrepair. This is important because they cannot be held responsible if they were not made aware of the issue. The best way to do so is by providing a notice of repairs.
Please gather any correspondence you have had with your landlord. If you reported the disrepair through text messages or emails, that would be helpful as it provides clear evidence of the date, time, and content. These communications can reveal landlords disregard for the problem, denial of responsibility, or incompetence, and play a crucial role in establishing your claim.
However, if you communicated over the phone or in person, we can take a statement from you as a witness. Just provide the date and do your best to recall the conversation. Taking a screenshot after the call to document the date, time, and duration would be ideal.
Evidence of the disrepair
Next, you will have to provide us with evidence of the disrepair. Start by taking photos of the issue using your phone and regularly document the problem. These photos or videos will be crucial evidence to show the extent and duration of the disrepair.
In some cases, we’ll arrange for a specialist to assess the issue, especially if it involves safety or damp and mould issues. A surveyor or structural engineer will visit your property, examine the problem, and provide a detailed report confirming the matter. This report strengthens your case by proving the existence of the issue and establishing your landlords’ repair responsibilities.
Evidence of damaged belongings
If you’re claiming that the disrepair has damaged your belongings, we will need photographs of the affected items. Additionally, if you’ve replaced any of these items, please keep the receipts as well.
Damp, mould, water leaks, and structural damage are the most common causes of damage to personal belongings. Many people seek compensation for damaged clothing, furniture, and soft furnishings like rugs and cushions. However, this is not an exhaustive list. If the housing disrepair has caused harm to any of your belongings, make sure to gather evidence of it.
Evidence of any personal injuries
Housing disrepair can lead to personal injuries and illnesses. Damp, mould, and asbestos can worsen respiratory problems or even cause cancer. Neglected disrepair can result in fractures, lacerations, or crushing injuries. Consult your general practitioner (GP) regardless of the injury’s nature. Your GP can provide treatment or refer you to a specialist if needed.
After seeing your GP, we can request your medical records, which will demonstrate your seeking medical help for the health issues caused by the disrepair. For certain injuries, a medical expert may assess your condition and provide a report. This is a standard procedure in claims involving physical injuries.
Evidence of financial losses
If you have experienced any additional financial losses, we will need evidence to support your claim. These losses can include past and future earnings, temporary accommodation costs, travel expenses, medication expenses, specialist equipment costs, utility bills, and more.
Make sure to keep a record of all the money you have spent or lost, and retain receipts whenever possible. If relevant, we can also request copies of your bank statements, pay slips, and utility bills.
Why do you need a housing disrepair solicitor?
Having solid evidence is absolutely essential when you plan to start a housing disrepair claim. Without it, you may not receive compensation that fully reflects the extent of your damages, and the court might even dismiss your claim if they doubt its credibility. To prevent such situations, we highly recommend seeking the assistance of our experienced housing disrepair solicitors. We specialise in this area of the law and understand precisely what evidence is needed. Our goal is not only to win your claim but also to secure the maximum compensation possible for you.
If you’re unsure about what to do next, you can get a free initial assessment from SilverOak Solicitors. This assessment is specifically for council and housing association tenants, and it allows us to address your matter. We’ll provide you with legal advice before you start a housing disrepair claim. We can represent you on a Risk Free, No Win No Fee basis. This means you won’t have to pay anything unless we successfully win your case.
To get a free assessment with one of our housing disrepair experts, you can reach us at 020 8578 778 or email us at email@example.com.
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