It’s not always straightforward to establish whether your landlord is responsible for resolving issues concerning damp in a rented property. This is due to the difficulty in finding the exact cause of damp without the assistance of a professional surveyor, unless the cause is visibly obvious; such as a leaking roof.
Within a short time after moving into her first rented property, our young client noticed dampness in her bedroom. She could also hear the screeching of rats moving around in the basement below. Following a complaint to her Landlord she was advised to use an anti-damp cleansing solution, which did not work. No further assistance was offered and so the issue went unresolved.
Our client unfortunately suffered aggravated symptoms of her pre-existing asthma and, on one occasion, experienced severe chest pains requiring her admission to hospital. The Landlord failed to respond to further complaints about the damp and the Letting Agent showed her an alternative property, but that too showed signs of dampness.
Our client decided she had no option but to vacate the property. She sought advice from our property litigation specialists as to her entitlement to compensation and we were instructed one week before she vacated the property, managing to instruct a surveyor to inspect the problem at the eleventh hour.
A medical report was obtained and pre-action letter sent. The claim was formulated for (1) damages pursuant to Section 11 Landlord and Tenant Act arising from the disrepair, and (2) damages for injury pursuant to the Defective Premises Act. Fortunately, our client recovered fully a few months after vacating the property where she had resided for six months.
Liability was admitted by the Landlord and our client was awarded £12,000 to cover temporary harm to her health and damages for the disrepair of the property.
If you or a family member have suffered from respiratory problems such as coughs and colds; chest problems; asthma or rhinitis caused or made worse by damp conditions, then you may be able to claim compensation for the injury symptoms and inconvenience caused. You may also be compensated if you have to vacate the property for a temporary period and for any damage to your personal possessions.
Subject to our risk assessment criteria, we may able to act on a no-win, no-fee basis.
Paul has acted for hundreds of successful tenants and was the solicitor in the Court of Appeal case of Wallace v Manchester City Council 1998.