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6 The Camden Private Tenant Follow us on Twitter @SaveCFPT Follow us on Facebook

William Ford, specialist housing and disrepair solicitor

at Camden based firm Osbornes Solicitors recounts

a recent disrepair claim which saw him represent his

tenant clients all the way to the High Court.

Our clients were renting private sector accommodation

and the property fell into disrepair. Although the landlord

was notified of this, no works were undertaken. In

response our clients started to withhold rent. This resulted

You don’t have to live in the landlord starting a campaign of harassment against

our clients to force them to pay the rent.

with housing disrepair Possession proceedings were also issued against our

clients and the rent arrears were claimed against them.

They counterclaimed in respect of the disrepair and

Despite duties imposed upon them some argued that the rent arrears should be set off against the

landlords refuse to carry out necessary counterclaim.

housing repairs or do not complete them to Our clients were ultimately unlawfully evicted from their

a necessary standard. home and were refused the safe return of many of their

possessions which had been left at the property. The

Osbornes Solicitors can help you to take action

goods were stored by the landlord and eventually some of

against your landlord to force them to carry out

the items were returned. However, the clients’ possessions

repairs as well as compensate you for any loss

had been badly damaged. The counterclaim was amended

you may have suffered.

to include a claim for the harassment, unlawful eviction

and destruction of goods as well as disrepair.

Types of disrepair which may also have an

adverse affect on your health include: After a 6 day trial at which the rent arrears were agreed

to be £12,027.95 our clients were successful in obtaining

• Dampness or mould from roof and pipe an order for £19,372 on their counterclaim plus interest of

leaks, blocked drains or gutters, £682.56 to be offset against the arrears. The landlord was

therefore ordered to pay the clients £8,026.61. The Court

• Dry rot infestations, also awarded costs against the landlord.

• No heating or hot water, Unfortunately the landlord failed to comply with the court

order and Osbornes then had to represent the clients in

• Dangerous electrical systems, enforcement proceedings which included successfully

obtained a Charging Order, on the landlord’s property.

• Infestations of rats, mice or cockroaches. Being no nearer to recovering costs Osbornes issued

proceedings in the High Court and ultimately, a settlement

To speak with one of our housing disrepair was reached whereby the landlord made financial

specialists about your case contact us on arrangements to pay the costs and damages, plus interest,

020 7485 8811. in full.

If you are currently experiencing a disrepair claim the

We also offer conditional fee agreements

steps you should adhere to are as follows:

(also known as “no win, no fee”) for housing

disrepair. 1. Notify their landlord of disrepair preferably in

writing

The housing department at Osbornes is

2. Keep a log of telephone notifications

ranked as a leading team in London in the

independent legal directories ‘The Legal 500’ 3. Keep photographs and videos of the disrepair and

and ‘Chambers & Partners’. items of clothing and furniture that is damaged

4. Keep copies of receipts of costs incurred in

Go online and watch one of our

connection with the disrepair i.e. replacement

senior solicitors talk about housing

furniture / belongings

disrepair and how to resolve it.

5. Allow the landlord access to the property to inspect

Osbornes Solicitors | Livery House | 9 Pratt Street the disrepair

Camden | NW1 0AE | www.osbornes.net

To discuss a disrepair claim you can contact William Ford at:

williamford@osbornes.net or 020 7485 8811

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