New figures gathered by Inside Housing show how housing disrepair claims against social landlords have been rising over the past few years.
A Lambeth Council tenant (Mary) has revealed the horror she and her son have endured at their home on Leigham Council Estate that they have lived in for two decades. With the home suffering from leaks, damp, mould, and cracks in the walls, it has put her £3,000 in debt due to keeping it warm within the winter. Mary had reported multiple problems to the council and nothing was being done to rectify their issues therefore she went to a solicitor for help, – she was later awarded £10,000 in compensation from the Council. Even though compensation has been awarded, the problems within her home remain. Lambeth Council has seen a rise with a 600% increase in disrepair claims brought against them within the past four years and an average £3 million pay-out for damages and legal fees.
Inside Housing has found that:
- Across 70 English Councils there have been 17,000 disrepair claims within the past five years, with more than £55.1 million paid out.
- 13 London boroughs, Birmingham, Manchester, and Sheffield represent £48 million, 89% of total costs for housing disrepair claims.
- London Councils that provided figures for each year saw costs increase by 53% from £6.4 million to nearly £10 million in 2020-21.
In 2020-21 the top 10 Councils that paid out the most for disrepair claims were:
- Lambeth – £3,180,000
- Southwark – £2,200,000
- Birmingham – £1,371,408
- Haringey – £999,396.16
- Hackney – £919,718
- Croydon (only damages) – £720,000
- Westminster – £620,000
- Sheffield – £573,413.41
- Barnet – £470,832.31
- Manchester – £239,764
Lambeth Council have set out a 16 step action plan to tackle its issues, including creating a new alternative dispute resolution process. A spokesperson says, “An investment of £600,000 into the process will then seek to reduce the overall bill to tenants and redirect funds to deliver frontline services to tenants.”
You can read more about the recent rise in housing disrepair claims here.
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