Health problems in rented accommodation
Tenants living in poorly maintained properties can suffer from a whole range of health problems caused by their landlord’s failure to abide by their responsibilities. Housing disrepair issues which are harmful to human health include:
Dampness, condensation, and mould growth
Tenants who occupy damp or mouldy buildings are at increased risk of health problems such as allergic reactions, fungal infections, throat irritation and respiratory problems. Exposure to high levels of mould may lead to neurological problems and can even potentially be lethal.
Carbon monoxide poisoning and other gases and fumes
Inadequate maintenance of gas appliances can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning whose symptoms include: headaches, nausea, dizziness,
tiredness, stomach ache and breathing problems. Extreme exposure can result in loss of consciousness and death.
Rats, cockroaches, bedbugs and other vermin infestations
In the case of vermin infestation, it will often be necessary to decide if the problem was caused due to housing disrepair which is the responsibility of the landlord or another cause (such as a pet being kept by a tenant).
Blocked drains or problems with rubbish or sewage
Problems with drainage or rubbish may be the responsibility of the water company or council. However, unless a tenant has blocked a toilet or sink as a result of misuse, it will often be the landlord’s responsibility to ensure these issues are resolved.
If any work is done to a property built before 1999, it’s important that the landlord checks for the presence of asbestos. If asbestos fibres are disturbed and a tenant is exposed, they may be able to claim compensation for asbestosis.
Can I claim compensation for damage to health from housing disrepair?
Whether you are a tenant living in private, council or social housing accommodation, your landlord is legally obliged to ensure your safety, including preventing any damage to your health caused by housing conditions. The housing disrepair team at CH Legal can advise you on any possible claims for compensation if you have suffered from health problems as a result of the state of your rented accommodation. To find out more about your rights as a tenant, contact David Lunt or phone 0845 4786 354.