According to recent research commissioned by leading UK law firm, Accident Advice Helpline, just under half of respondents were not aware that they could claim compensation for injuries suffered as a tenant from a property in disrepair.
The OnePoll survey commissioned by Accident Advice Helpline asked 1000 consumers whether they believed they could make a compensation claim for a number of different accident scenarios. 46 per cent of respondents did not know that you could claim as a tenant if you were injured due to the disrepair of your property.
Accident Advice Helpline said, “This research highlights a worrying gap in the knowledge people have regarding compensation meaning that many injury victims are probably not being compensated correctly.”
A landlord has a responsibility to make sure that their properties are safe and fit for habitation which includes structural issues such as leaking roofs, damp windows, drains and external pipes, alongside issues with communal areas of the property including corridors, lifts and stairways.
Accident Advice Helpline said “The landlord must have any issues reported to them and they then have to fix the repair within a reasonable period of time which is dependent on the nature of the disrepair.”
If after reporting an issue your landlord doesn’t fix it in adequate time and you injure yourself – or your belongings are damaged – they become negligent for not keeping you safe from harm. This is why it is so important to report issues to your landlord as soon as you spot them as liability can be trickier if the landlord was unaware of the issue.
“Injuries may seem relatively insignificant at the time they are sustained, but can have lasting repercussions on your health, happiness and of course finances. The cost of long-term treatment for injuries can run into thousands of pounds, so it’s important to seek professional legal advice to secure the maximum compensation.”
If you injure yourself due to disrepair of your property you can claim compensation if the issue was the landlord’s responsibility to maintain and the landlord failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the accident. If fixing the problem wasn’t unreasonably expensive or difficult to do and an injury was a possible consequence of not fixing the problem then the landlord becomes liable.
Debra G from North London called us to claim compensation when she found herself in a similar situation. She had been visiting a friend who lived in a block of flats when she slipped and fell on an unmarked wet patch leaving her with a dislocated and broken right elbow. The wet patch was caused due to a hatch in the roof which was left open letting rain leak in and despite the council having had this reported to them, they had not come out to fix it. After claiming, Debra received £3,800 for her injuries because the defective property was reported to the landlords yet nothing had been done to prevent the accident.
If someone is injured due to the disrepair of their property then they have the grounds for a compensation claim. Specialist injury solicitors like Accident Advice Helpline have both the skills and expertise to arrange for any medical treatment, rehabilitation and financial compensation where necessary. If you think you should be eligible for compensation because of an injury then give the Accident Advice Helpline team a call on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone or, fill in the form on their website.
Date Published: January 6, 2015
Author: David Brown