Landlords have a legal responsibility to ensure that the property they rent out is fit for human habitation and that any disrepair issues are resolved within a satisfactory timeframe. There may be cases where tenants must move out of the property and live in temporary accommodation until the issue is rectified.
Landlords must keep their rental properties in good condition, and they should fix any issues promptly. Sometimes, tenants might need to stay somewhere else while the repairs are happening.
For example, if there is a structural issue or a vermin infestation and a property is unsafe to live in, the housing association or council should pay for the tenant to live in temporary accommodation.
A broken boiler that is not repaired within 24 hours (and no suitable alternative to hot water and heating is provided) is another scenario where temporary accommodation such as a hotel or hostel should be paid for by the landlord.
When can I claim for temporary accommodation?
If you believe that your home is not safe to live in, then you should check whether your circumstances would be considered as unfit for human habitation under the following criteria:
- the building has been neglected and is in a bad condition.
- the building is unstable.
- there’s a serious problem with damp.
- it has an unsafe layout.
- there’s not enough natural light.
- there’s not enough ventilation.
- there is a problem with the supply of hot and cold water.
- there are problems with the drainage or the lavatories.
- it’s difficult to prepare and cook food or wash up.
- or any of the 29 hazards set out in the Housing Health and Safety (England) Regulations 2005.
If any of the above situations applies to your living environment, you should contact your housing association or council immediately to inform them of the issue. If they are unable to resolve the issue to meet liveable conditions, they should offer to pay for temporary accommodation.
The exception to this is if you have caused the damage that has rendered the property inhabitable.
What to do if the landlord refuses to cover the costs of temporary accommodation
If you speak to the housing association or council and they refuse to pay to resolve the problem or refuse to cover the costs of your temporary accommodation, the next step is to make a housing disrepair claim.
Even if you do not move into temporary accommodation that incurs costs, you may be able to submit a housing disrepair claim for compensation for other costs.
Seeking professional legal advice from solicitors who have experience in housing disrepair claims will help to ensure that you are fairly compensated for the health risks associated with living in inhabitable conditions.
In the event that you have had to move out of the property, housing disrepair claims will also cover the costs of temporary accommodation and compensate the inconvenience and stress caused by being forced to leave your home.
How we can help you to get fair compensation
Look for an experienced housing disrepair solicitor who can offer expert advice on maximising compensation for housing disrepair claims and covering the cost of temporary accommodation.
Your landlord is responsible for providing you with a property that meets the required standards and if they are not doing so, we can help you to claim for what you are entitled to by law.