Housing disrepair for local authority landlords—a practical guide
Produced in partnership with Alexander Bastin of Hardwicke
Housing disrepair for local authority landlords—a practical guide

The following Local Government guidance note Produced in partnership with Alexander Bastin of Hardwicke provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Housing disrepair for local authority landlords—a practical guide
  • The basis for a disrepair claim
  • How to approach a disrepair claim
  • Is there actionable disrepair?
  • Reasonable period to repair
  • Other issues to consider that may affect the claim
  • Specific performance
  • Damages
  • Fitness for human habitation

This Practice Note discusses disrepair claims in relation to social housing, setting out the legal basis for a claim and other the relevant factors that need to be considered.

The basis for a disrepair claim

It is important to understand the basis upon which a claim can be brought and some basic procedural matters. Disrepair claims arise, principally, out of contract and statute law, the basis of each is outlined below.

If there is a tenancy agreement the claim is likely to be in breach of contract. A copy of the tenancy agreement must be obtained to check the landlord’s express repairing obligations. There are also some standard implied terms developed by the Courts that:

  1. if a landlord carries out repairs, they must be done with reasonable skill and care and using proper materials

  2. a landlord must not derogate from its grant (ie not let retained premises fall into such a condition as to have a deleterious effect on the demised premises)

The basis of a claim in statute in all cases, including for oral tenancies, arises under section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (LTA 1985). Section 11 implies a compulsory contractual term into all tenancies (even where there is an express repairing covenant) of less than seven years (and so will apply to all weekly periodic secure tenancies)