Pearl Lemon Legal

PL Legal logo

Tenant Lawyer

Cheerful lawyer talking to client in cafe

The relationship you have with your landlord should be positive if you rent a home in the UK, and you should have a pleasant tenancy that includes what you paid for. These situations don’t always occur, though. The tenant lawyer team at Pearl Lemon Legal is skilled in housing law and is aware that disputes between tenants and landlords are significantly more frequent than they should be.

 

Wet and freezing housing are only two of the many problems for which renters may file lawsuits against landlords. You may also launch a lawsuit against your landlord if they neglect to perform necessary maintenance or repairs; if necessary repairs are not done, an injunction may be enforced. Many customers resort to suing landlords for mould compensation.

 

According to the charity Shelter, some 2.5 million people in the UK are thought to live in rented homes that are unsafe for human habitation, with the majority of those tenants still paying full rent and unsure of how to proceed in order to get the situation remedied.

This is all commonly attributed to the 1985 statute that mandated that municipal governments investigate ad police rented housing problems. Many local governments found it challenging to enforce the rules because of manpower shortages and financial restrictions, which essentially allowed private landlords to skimp on property maintenance and repairs, frequently leaving renters to foot the bill for all kinds of repairs and live in subpar accommodations.

 

The Fitness for Human Habitation Act amended the 1985 statute, making landlords once again entirely accountable for the properties they are renting out. They are responsible for making sure the property is fit for its intended use and appropriate for habitation at all times during the tenancy. This includes issues that require more complex solutions, such as ventilation, wetness, and cold.

 

Though these are among the scenarios our skilled tenancy lawyers at Pearl Lemon encounter most regularly, these are by no means the only ones for which you might need to speak with a tenant lawyer.

businessmen are disputing about the wrong financial budget of the company
Partnership

What Reasons for Taking Action Do UK Landlords Face?

Landlords are now required to pay far greater attention to a variety of issues, and when they are disregarded or violated, a tenant may file a lawsuit. All the following are among them, but they are not the only ones.

 

A Pearl Lemon Legal housing lawyer should be able to clarify your position if you’re confused whether a problem you’re having is something for which legal action should be brought against your landlord:

 

  • Building or structural work that has been neglected and has resulted in a structure becoming unstable or in bad condition.
  • Spreading wetness and fungal growth
  • Problems with the provision of hot and cold water.
  • When using the kitchen, difficulty washing your hands correctly, or in cooking, which renders the area unhygienic and unusable. This could happen because of a sink that doesn’t drain well, a shortage of water supply, dangerous appliances, uneven flooring, and more.
  • Serious plumbing issues, such as leaks in basements or lofts or improper toilet or bath drainage.
  • Excessive temperatures brought on by broken heating systems.
  • Exposure to harmful, prohibited chemicals like asbestos
  • exposure to carbon monoxide
  • Gas pipes or equipment that is leaking.
  • Security issues, such as a back door or front door without a working lock
  • Risky circumstances in the shower or bath, including a cracked shower floor.
  • Electric dangers
  • Fire dangers

Issues with Landlords and Deposit Protection

Tenants may also file a lawsuit against a landlord they feel failed to secure their security deposit properly and/or is withholding its return illegally.

 

You might be eligible to file a no-fee claim for damages against a private landlord if you have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy and have rented any kind of property from them and your deposit is not returned to you. You might also be eligible to file a claim for up to three times the initial deposit if the deposit is not properly returned when the tenancy ends.

 

Your landlord must legally deposit the security deposit you properly provide at the beginning of your tenancy into one of three recognized deposit protection schemes within 30 days of receiving it. Under no circumstances are they simply permitted to deposit it into their bank account, as may be the case with regular rent payments.

Consulting colleague
Two business men celebrating a deal

The government-approved tenancy deposit systems are kept in place to try to guarantee that you’ll get your money back when you:

 

  • Observe the rules outlined in your lease.
  • Ensure no major harm or damage has been done to the property by yourself, and your visitors.
  • Have completed all payments for the rent and other costs specified in your written lease.

 

Things between a landlord and tenant typically deteriorate fast if the landlord has not upheld their legal obligations to you, the renter. It is also not uncommon for a landlord to assume that a renter is unaware of their legal rights and try to keep the security deposit, even though they could know (and should know) that you are entitled to a refund if you have to leave the property.

 

In this case, you might want to make a claim to make sure you get the money you are owed and, in some cases, an extra sum that is up to three times the original deposit amount. In actuality, the majority of landlords have attorneys working diligently on their behalf; you, as a renter, should have the same. Our housing law lawyers will take care of that.

What Legal Defenses Do Landlords Have?

There are definitely some things you cannot sue your landlord over, even if they seem unjust. The UK housing rules are created to protect both landlords and tenants. The most typical of these are as follows:

 

  • Any problems caused by your behavior as a tenant, including any reckless or illegal behavior.
  • Circumstances that are beyond your landlord’s control, such as an unintentional fire, flood, or natural disaster.
  • Any issues you may have with furniture that a previous tenant left behind and wasn’t included in an inventory when your lease first began.
  • In other cases, a landlord might have wanted to conduct the work for you but been unable to do so because of resistance from other parties and the requirement for various planning permits. In this situation, they are often immune from suit, although the other parties might not be.
Lawyer signing document
Home contract concept.

How Should I Sue My Landlord?

Many renters who have used our housing lawyers have had their issues with landlords resolved favorably, just as they had hoped. This is frequently possible without the need to engage in an expensive, time-consuming, and unpleasant court action since our staff is experienced in alternative dispute resolution as well as housing law.

However, there are a few things you must do to increase the likelihood that any lawsuit you file against your landlord will be successful:

Informing your landlord of a problem is always the first step in resolving one in a rental property. In an ideal world, they would take your complaint seriously, resolve the issue, and you wouldn’t even need housing lawyers.

Check your tenancy agreement or contract first to see if it specifies the kinds of repairs that the landlord is liable for and the window of time they have to make them. Then, as they pertain to your case, take these actions.

 

  1. To ensure that your landlord is aware of the issue(s), gather documentation of the damage, the required repairs, or other issues, and provide images as necessary.

 

  1. Speak with your landlord or letting agent and explain the situation in detail. Although it is better to put this in writing so that you have a record of it, it can also be done orally. However, from a legal perspective, relying just on verbal communication might be confusing, thus the more written communication, the better.

 

  1. Keep copies of every correspondence, including emails, letters to your landlord, and text messages. Keep your own records of the date, time, and content of any conversations you can only have verbally.
high angle view of lawyer and client discussing contract
One adult woman at home working on laptop on the table. Modern hipster female people in online job
  1. If the property’s problems have caused you to become ill or injured, be sure to keep the doctor’s notes. Keep all receipts for additional medical expenses you incurred as a result of the illness or injury.

 

  1. Be sure to keep the receipts for everything you paid for in case you decide to make the repairs yourself out of need rather than waiting for your landlord to take action, which would likely make the issue worse.

 

After completing these measures, speak with a tenant lawyer like the Pearl Lemon Legal team’s specialized lawyers for tenants. They can advise you on the best course of action if you do have a legal claim, including if they can represent you on a no-win, no-fee basis.

Contact Us

We'd love to hear from you!

For a free, no-obligation conversation about how we might be able to help with your current legal issues, please contact us today.