Renting out private accommodation is a common practice across the UK. For anyone who owns more than one property, it can be a good way to earn additional income. However, landlords cannot just rent out their property in any condition. They are required by law to ensure that their property meets the basic standards of health and safety as laid down by the Government’s Decent Homes Standard.
If your landlord fails to meet the necessary requirements, and you are injured as a result, you may be entitled to make a tenant injury claim to compensate you for your injuries.
Rental Accommodation & Landlord Responsibilities
The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 clearly lays out a landlord’s responsibilities. In short, this Act states that landlords are responsible for the proper maintenance of their leased property and must take reasonable precautions to ensure that the property is safe for the tenants and families to live in. This Act governs all clauses in the tenancy agreement and overrides any clause that contradicts it.
According to this Act, your landlord must provide you with a home that meets all of these conditions:
- Is in a reasonable state of repair, both internally and externally
- Is safe for you and your family to live in
- Is capable of holding up against normal weather condition
- Is capable of withstanding normal use by the inhabitants and visitors
- Is well ventilated and free from any dampness
In addition, your landlord is also responsible for maintaining the property and carrying out all necessary repairs so the home continues to meet the laid down health and safety regulations.
This means the landlord is responsible for all of the following:
- Repairing all broken roofing, floor tiles, and other brickwork
- Repairing and waterproofing cracks that allow water to seep in
- Re-plastering walls and ceiling if they are crumbling
- Replacing broken doors and windows
- Rewiring if necessary
- Replacing defective or burst water pipes
- Replacing joists that are affected by dry rot
- Carrying out any pest control if necessary
- Carrying out regular checks of all appliances
If you or a family member or visitor is injured in an accident resulting from your landlord’s negligence, the landlord is liable to compensate you for these injuries.
Your Rights As A Tenant
Your rights as a tenant start from the time you sign the lease agreement.
If the property is in a state of disrepair, you must inform the landlord in writing about the existing problems. Under the Pre-Action Protocol for Housing Conditions Claims (England), the landlord should reply within 20 working days of receiving the letter of claim. If the landlord fails to reply to the letter of claim within the time limit, the next step would be court action.
Common Tenant Injuries
When a home is not properly maintained, it can cause a wide range of injuries to tenants, including but not limited to:
- Allergies, asthma, and other respiratory problems resulting from persistent dampness and the growth of mould and mould spores. This can happen due to water seeping in through broken roofs, cracks in the walls, or windows that are not properly sealed.
- Cuts, fractures, and broken bones resulting from slipping and tripping hazards such as loose flooring tiles, torn or loose carpets, damaged floorboards, and shaky or broken handrails.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning caused by poorly maintained or malfunctioning gas boilers or other heating appliances.
Some of these injuries can be life-changing.
Can You File A Tenant Injury Claim?
Understandably, knowing whether or not you can file a tenant injury claim for compensation is often an issue when a tenant is injured in rented accommodation. In fact, one of the main reasons why tenants do not file any compensation claim after an accident in their rented home is because they are not sure where the fault lies.
Another factor that can keep tenants from pursuing a personal injury claim is because they may be concerned that the landlord may evict them or that they may increase the rent just to make things difficult for them.
Instead of deciding to forego your rights completely, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced personal injury solicitor who will be able to give you the best advice, and in most cases at no charge.
How To Claim Compensation From Your Landlord
Using a personal injury solicitor to claim compensation from your landlord offers you several benefits.
First of all, most personal injury solicitors offer a free, no-obligation consultation. This means you can discuss your case with the solicitor and get sound advice about how to proceed with a tenant injury claim without having to pay anything.
Then, if you do have a strong case and are entitled to compensation from your landlord, you could also get the legal representation you need without paying any money up front by using a No Win No Fee agreement. This agreement essentially states that you only pay if the court rules in your favour and awards you compensation.
When you use a personal injury solicitor to make your tenant injury claim, you can rest assured your interests will be protected and they will ensure that you get the maximum compensation due to you.