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Housing disrepair solicitor saved me from an indoor pool.

Housing disrepairHousing disrepair solicitors are not someone I thought I would ever come into contact with. However, when you’re faced with an indoor pool – an unwanted one at that – you don’t have many options.

As I looked at my new, unwanted, indoor water feature - with water gushing down the side of the wall in my front room - there was no escaping it, something needed to be done. Ideally that ‘something’ would be my landlord fixing the problem or, failing that, I could resort to charging admission as a cheap alternative to the local pool.

I ran around the house and turned the water off. I listened, well it sounded like Niagara Falls in the front room had stopped so that was a start. I’d have a cup of tea to celebrate…oh, wait – no water. So instead, I picked up the phone and rang the landlord. Now in 9 months of living there we had never once had to talk, there had been no problems to date and the majority of the moving process had been conducted with a 3rd party estate agent.; However, rather than ring them I felt this was urgent enough to warrant calling the landlord direct.

No help from the landlord

So that’s what I did. Six times. No answer. After leaving voicemails I rang the estate agent, who promptly told me they would contact the landlord. Excellent. I went to bed that night wondering quite what I was going to do. When I woke up the following morning I went into the front room and discovered the water had been so bad that it had already stained the walls and paint was peeling off. Not to mention the carpet at the foot of the ‘waterfall’ was soaked. I rang the landlord again and, to my surprise, got an answer. What followed was even more surprising as the suggestion was I pay for a plumber to come out to fix the issue and then, pay for a decorator to come out and tidy everything up. The landlord then ‘promised’ he would pay me or deduct the amount from my rent. Call me cynical but I didn’t take him up on that offer.

Housing disrepair solicitor to the rescue

Instead I searched for a local housing disrepair specialist and found a law firm, specialising in exactly that in my area. After an initial conversation with them I popped along to their offices and showed them some photos I had taken – plus I apologised for any smell as I had been unable to shower due to the no water issue. Which was odd given having too much water was actually the problem! They quickly confirmed my contract stated the maintenance and upkeep of the rented property was the responsibility of the landlord and this matter, burst water pipes causing interior damage which had led to damp and potentially, mould, was certainly down to the landlord to get fixed.

I didn’t want to bring solicitors into the matter but given my only other option was to either sell a kidney to get the housing disrepair fixed on my own; I felt I had no choice. So I instructed the solicitors and gave them the landlord details. I went home and had a cup of tea…oh no, wait –I still couldn’t do that. Near the end of the day the solicitors rang and advised they had been in touch with both the estate agent and landlord. Apparently a gentle reminder of their contractual obligations was needed and they had received assurances action would be taken to fix the problem.

It’s good to know a housing disrepair solicitor

Three days later and my pipes had been fixed, the carpet torn up and replaced and the walls had a fresh lick of paint. It wasn’t the most pleasant of experiences I’ll admit – I had to go to a local gym to shower which was an experience not to be repeated – but I survived. Holding people to account can be difficult but ultimately, a signed contract with a landlord should give you some assurances when matters like this arise. It shouldn’t take a housing disrepair solicitor to get involved to get it sorted but it is comforting to know that such people, and firms, do exist.

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