Types of Disrepair

Common Disrepair Related Issues

Water Leaks

Water leaks or an ingress of water can cause significant damage if not repaired quickly and can result from rainwater entering the property from an outside source (an ingress of water) and can enter the property through a defective roof, damaged gutter or downpipe, cracks in brick walls or missing mortar, cracked or broken drainage pipes, a lack of or defective damp proof course or through defective or rotten doors or damage to windows allowing water to get into and cause damage to the property.

Water can also escape from internal pipework or fittings such as water mains supply or waste pipes connected to sinks, toilets, baths or showers, some of which may be hidden below floors, in walls or ceilings and may even be leaking from a neighboring flat or property. Central heating systems and radiators are also a common cause of water leaks.

You should inform your landlord to investigate urgently if you notice any damp patches or suspect water escapes or ingresses of water into your home. A failure by your landlord to repair these types of water leaks within a reasonable period of time can result in damp and mould and can lead to a number of health related issues for you and your family such as coughs and colds, asthma, flu like symptoms or skin rashes.

Your landlord is legally liable to repair these types of defects within a reasonable period of time. What is reasonable will depend on the severity of the issue and our friendly legal advisors are on hand to provide further advice and support in relation to your potential right to claim compensation.

Defective Central Heating System

Your landlord is obliged to ensure that the heating and hot water system remains in good repair and to ensure the boiler is checked and a gas safety certificate is produced at least annually. If you have reported a fault and you have no hot water or heating, depending on certain circumstances, your landlord is most likely expected to fix the problem within just a few days failing which you may be entitled to claim compensation as a result of your landlord’s failure to comply with its legal obligations.

Damp and Mould

Many properties, in particular older houses, experience cases of damp, meaning it should be a problem that all landlords are prepared to encounter. Damp can be unsightly, unsettling and unhygienic and should be dealt with quickly to remove the problem. Damp can also be an indication of larger-scale structural problems and so it is important that landlords are aware of any cases of damp within the property.

There are multiple causes of damp, they include;

  • Condensation
  • Faulty plumbing
  • Poor ventilation
  • Structural deficits

Collapsed Ceiling

A collapsed ceiling is an extremely dangerous hazard that should be dealt with as soon as possible. If you are living in accommodation where the ceiling has collapsed or looks close to collapsing, you must inform your landlord immediately so that they can rectify the problem.

Tenants should expect to live in safe and secure properties at all times and it the responsibility of the landlord to ensure that this is always the case.

Damaged Walls and Plaster

Damaged walls, including holes in walls, crumbling walls and collapsing/collapsed walls, can be a sign of underlying structural damage which can cause further, more serious problems. Tenants should report any concerns regarding walls to their landlord as soon as they identify them so that they can be rectified.

Holes in walls may also be a sign of vermin or other pests in the house. Infestations can be unhygienic for tenants as well as a nuisance and should be dealt with promptly. Interior walls can also be affected by damp and mould which can damage anything it comes into contact with as well as cause health problems to those exposed to it for long periods of time such as asthma and chest infections.

Plaster that is cracked discoloured or bubbling/bulging are all causes for concern. Whilst hairline cracks are common and an aesthetic nuisance at worst, larger cracks can be an indication of structural damage to the property such as subsidence or sagging roofs. Tenants should inform landlords of any large cracks that appear on plaster so that they can be inspected and the cause of the cracks can be identified.

Discoloured or bubbling plaster is usually a sign of water damage, indicating that there may be a leak somewhere within the property. This again can be a symptom of underlying structural damage and it is prudent that the tenant liaises with their landlord so that the issues can be addressed.


Have you reported your housing disrepair concerns to your landlord? Have your concerns been ignored?

Is your Property Suffering from Damp?

Rising or penetrating damp are common problems in older and poorly maintained properties and can be caused by a defective or nonexistent damp proof course. However, damp may also be caused by leaking pipes or rainwater ingress into a property due to a defective roof or damage to window or door frames. If you are suffering from damp and have reported these issues to your landlord and your landlord has failed to carry out adequate repairs within a reasonable period of time, we may be able to help you obtain compensation and ensure that the property is repaired properly and swiftly.

Can Damp and Mould Affect your Health?

Yes it can and commonly does. The NHS advise that you are more likely to suffer from respiratory problems, infections, allergies and asthma if you have damp and mould in your home and that it can also affect your immune system.

Some people are more sensitive than others with babies and children, elderly people, people suffering with skin conditions such as eczema, asthma and those with weakened immune systems being particularly sensitive.

Mould produces allergens, irritants and sometimes toxic substances that can cause allergic reactions like sneezing, runny nose, eye and skin rashes and asthma attacks.

We appreciate that you may be reluctant to claim against your landlord but rest assured that your landlord is fully aware of its legal obligations and will understand that you are legally entitled to seek compensation as a result of a landlord’s failure to fall foul of its legal obligations.

We know how landlords work, we understand the maintenance and repair processes adopted by many social landlords and we know that sometimes landlords get it wrong and tenants can be let down and suffer as a consequence. Let our specialist housing team deal directly with the landlord on your behalf and ensure that the property is repaired and you receive the compensation you are entitled to.


Check that your landlord is responsible for the repairs – This will be within your tenancy agreement.

you’ve reported the problem (at least once) and given your landlord a reasonable amount of time to do the work.

Collate evidence to help support your case.


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