May 2018 Housing Disrepair News Update

S v N Homes Ltd – Bishop Lloyd & Jackson issued a private prosecution in the Magistrates’ Court in January 2018 in order to compel our client’s landlord into abating the statutory nuisance in her property. At the preliminary hearing in March, the landlord requested an adjournment on the basis that it recognised that the property was suffering from a statutory nuisance. The landlord sought an adjournment of 8 weeks to complete works to overhaul the ventilation unit to address the issues of condensation, damp and mould which were causing health problems for our client and her family.
Given the extent of the statutory nuisance  in our client’s property, she and her family had to decant and there were real difficulties in finding suitable alternative accommodation for them whilst works were being done. Our client’s adult son is disabled and has severe and complex needs which meant that the family needed to be rehoused in a ground floor property, suitable for their needs. Once the issues of rehousing had been resolved, the landlord was able to complete remedial works to the property. Our client has confirmed that after several years of living in appalling conditions, the works have been completed and she no longer considers the property to be prejudicial to her and her family’s health.
Our client continues to have a section 11 LTA 1985 claim in the county court for structural disrepair. Our aim in these proceedings is to ensure that the family are fully compensated for the distress, inconvenience and loss of amenity that they have suffered as a result of the landlord’s failure to uphold its repairing obligations.
E v B Council – This was a breach of tenancy claim under section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 and section 4 of the Defective Premises Act 1972. The basis of the claim was that the Council had failed to remedy damp and mould in our 76 year old client’s property following a burst water pipe. As a result of our work, the landlord undertook works to remedy the disrepairAlthough a lack of fire doors does not constitute disrepair and internal doors are not part of the structure of the property (and hence not within the landlord’s repairing obligation), the Council provided our client with fire safety doors at our request. An excellent report by our surveyor highlighted the fire risk to our client and was extremely useful in ensuring that the Council acted to minimise this risk. 
The Council agreed to pay our client compensation of £5,500 for her loss of enjoyment of the property, loss of amenity, distress and inconvenience plus  her legal costs of £6,000. By consent, we have agreed to stay proceedings on terms and the trial will not now go ahead.
P v G Housing Association – possession proceedings were brought against our on the basis of rent arrears. Our client was able to counterclaim for disrepair. As a result of Bishop Lloyd & Jackson’s work, the landlord completed remedial works to the property and awarded damages to our client plus her legal costs. Our client was able to use some of her compensation to clear her rent arrears, therefore putting an end to the possession proceedings which threatened her tenancy.