The tragic death of a 2-year-old from exposure to dampness and mould at his home which was let from a housing association is a sharp reminder to landlords of the need to take prompt action when a tenant complains about dampness and mould and other issues with disrepair.
At Howells, we have been helping tenants to get their landlords to carry out repairs for over 40 years. The government has awarded us a legal aid contract to take action to have repairs done if your landlord fails to carry out repairs within a reasonable time. We are your local solicitors providing face-to-face advice from our offices in Sheffield, Rotherham, and Barnsley.
In recent years there has been an increase in private companies from outside South Yorkshire who do not have a contract from the government to do legal aid disrepair work targeting people through unannounced doorstepping, cold calling or leaflet campaigns, often claiming to be from the Council or acting on the Council’s behalf and signing tenants up to complicated “no win no fee” agreements that are not always what they seem.
Amongst other things these agreements can mean that if a tenant changes their mind about pursuing a claim, they will have to pay their solicitor’s fees.
Some companies also encourage tenants to refuse the Council access to their property, which is not only a breach of their tenancy agreement but also causes delays in repairs being done. They may do this to try to increase the number of damages payable from which they intend to take a fee.
If you are approached by one of these companies:
– Always ask for identification.
– Call the police if you feel scared or threatened.
– Take free legal advice about your disrepair claim before signing up for an agreement you might not understand.
You can report any incidents to Action Fraud or call South Yorkshire Police on 101.