Housing

We all need a home we can retreat to after the pressures of the day. We recognise that if you have lost or are at risk of losing your home, or you are living in unpleasant conditions and your landlord is not making the repairs, this can be very stressful for you and your family. This is when you need expert help on your side.

Housing Law Legal Advice

Our team of housing law solicitors can advise you on your legal rights and represent you in court proceedings. We are committed to providing a high quality, efficient and caring service to our clients. We frequently help our clients with the following.

Disrepair

Housing repairs for tenants

Disrepair is the term used when your landlord is failing to carry out repairs to your home. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait until your house becomes uninhabitable to ask for help.

 

Get the repairs done - it's the Law

Whether you are renting from a private landlord, a housing association or a council, the law in England and Wales imposes strict requirements on all landlords to ensure that your property is kept in good condition.

The law says that “repair” involves the structure or exterior of a property. Examples of disrepair include a leaking roof, damp, rotten woodwork, leaking windows, or blocked or broken gutters, drains and external pipes.

Specialist legal advice in housing disrepair cases

If your landlord has failed to carry out necessary repairs, for example, if your home has a leak, or suffers from damp, or the central heating system is not working, we can help you. We will use the power of the court to force your landlord to make the repairs and help you to claim compensation for the inconvenience that this has caused.

Our experienced and sympathetic team of housing law solicitors in London can help you with your housing disrepair problems by:

  • Forcing your landlord to carry out repairs to your property by seeking an order from the County Court

  • Helping you to bring a claim for compensation against your landlord for the distress and inconvenience that you have suffered because of their failure to repair your property

  • Advising you on your rights under the Environmental Protection Act if the property has become unfit for human habitation.

Your landlord's obligation

Specialist housing law solicitors

Landlords have a variety of obligations to keep their properties in a proper state of repairs. Most of these are set out in The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

They include the duty to:

  • Keep the structure of the building, including drains, gutters and external pipes in good repair.

  • Ensure that anything needed for the supply of water, gas, electricity and sanitation is kept in working order.

  • Keep the equipment used for heating and heating water in good repair.

  • Make sure that the structural instability, serious disrepair or dampness don’t make the building unfit for human habitation.

Other laws force landlords to address the problems of infestations, such as rats, mice and insects and make them potentially liable for failing to make reasonable efforts to protect people from injury or loss caused by defective premises

Possessions, repossessions & evictions

Specialist housing law solicitors

The thought of losing your home is frightening. Tragically, many possessions and evictions could have been avoided. Many evictions are even unlawful. With the right advice, you could well retain your home.

The skilled and sensitive housing law solicitors at Abbott Solicitors have helped many tenants and leaseholders to save their homes.

Whether your landlord has started court proceedings for rent arrears, nuisance, or some other alleged breach of tenancy, let us help you.

We can also intervene if your home is at risk of mortgage repossession. Our experts will defend you in mortgage possession claims, advise you on any technicalities in the possession proceedings and, where possible, negotiate with your mortgage company to come to an amicable settlement.

Our specialist housing law solicitors act fast, investigating the issues arising from your case, advising you of your rights and, if necessary, arranging representation for you in court.

Unlawful eviction

Specialist housing law solicitors

Unlawful eviction can be a traumatic experience, especially if it’s combined with harassment. Fortunately, there are laws to protect tenants from abusive landlords

Criminal sanctions

Sometimes landlords may fall foul of the criminal law. For example, anyone who ‘without lawful authority’ uses, or threatens to use, violence to gain entry to occupied premises is committing an offence.

Civil proceedings

More likely, though, we will use the civil law to get an ‘injunction’ against your landlord. If their actions have caused you loss or harm, you may even be entitled to compensation.

Landlords must allow their tenants ‘quiet enjoyment’ of the premises, and permit utilities like gas and electricity to be supplied. They are not allowed to evict you before the end of your tenancy, enter the house without your permission, unlawfully damage your property or threaten you.

Even if they haven’t done any of these things, it’s generally illegal to evict someone from their home without a court order.

If your landlord is trying to evict you, you must act quickly. Our experienced housing lawyers can help, protecting you from unlawful eviction and, if your landlord has broken the law, assisting with a claim for compensation.

Unlawful eviction

Homelessness and council housing issues

Are you homeless or threatened with homelessness? Perhaps you’re not sure whether you are eligible for council housing or have been turned down? Is the council dragging its heels in processing your application? Has it failed to give you temporary accommodation? Is it unreasonable to expect you to stay in your current home?

Whatever your housing problem we can help ensure that the council treats your application swiftly and fairly. We can advise you on your rights and, if necessary, help you take your case to court.

This process of challenging local authority decisions is known as ‘judicial review’. We have a strong record of success in having homelessness cases judicial reviewed.

Tenancy Agreements

Specialist housing law solicitors

Landlords and tenants can find themselves involved in disputes over a variety of issues. Responsibility for repairs is a common one.

 

If you think you could become involved in a housing dispute, you need the support of expert housing lawyers. In particular, you need someone who can offer specialist advice on the lease and other documents.

 

Our dedicated Solicitors will prepare your case, help you find a way of funding your claim, allocate you a dedicated professional and keep you updated at each stage. If you’re about to draw up a tenancy agreement, why can help? Well-drafted tenancy agreements can significantly reduce the risk of expensive litigation.

Allocations and transfers

Specialist housing law solicitors

Are you fed up of waiting for an offer of permanent council accommodation? Perhaps you’re not sure whether your priority band is correct?

 

Since the ‘Choice Based Letting Scheme’ was set up, most councils and housing associations are no longer responsible for allocating properties to would-be tenants. Instead, the onus is on you to look for your own home by ‘bidding’ for properties.

 

This has the advantage of giving people the chance to choose the properties they want to be considered for. But it means it is important to get your priority band correct.

 

If you’re having trouble getting the housing you want, and are unsure whether your priority band is right, let us help. We can advise you on the options available, help arrange temporary accommodation if you’re currently homeless, and let you know whether the council has property complied with its allocation policy.

 

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[Abbott Solicitors LLP is a limited liability partnership. Authorised & Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and registered in England and Wales registered with No. OC403192. The term “partner” is used to refer to a member of Abbott Solicitors LLP. Abbott Solicitors is the trading name of Abbott Solicitors LLP: SRA No 626995.]

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