Housing disrepair legal claims
If you are thinking of making a claim against Derby Homes or Derby City Council because of a disrepair issue such as mould or damp, contact us first. We will ensure we work with you to resolve any outstanding repair issues.
Legal firms make huge profits from these claims. Even if your claim is successful, you will likely be left with only a very small percentage of money paid in damages. In some cases, tenants have been left with legal debts, and the stress of going to court for nothing. The main goal of these companies is to make money from you.
If you’ve been approached to make a disrepair claim
- Speak to us. We will aim to resolve any outstanding repair issues you have.
- Do not be lured by the promise of thousands of pounds in compensation.
- Remember, these companies only shout about their successful cases.
What to do if you have repair issues
- You can report or check the status of an outstanding repair by calling us or using MyAccount.
- If you feel a repair has not been completed to your satisfaction, tell us by making a complaint
- We will fully investigate your complaint, do our best to put it right and make sure it doesn't happen again
- You can also contact the Housing Ombudsman at any time during the complaints process. Their scheme is set up by law to look at complaints about housing organisations.
- If you have problems with damp or mould (a common type of disrepair), get in touch with us for help or look at our Damp, mould and condensation advice page
If you're considering legal action
If you feel that you need to approach a company or solicitor for a disrepair case or if you've been approached to make a claim, contact us to discuss things first.
Call us on 01332 888777 or email [email protected] before you agree to take any legal action.
What is 'claims farming'
A claims farmer is someone who encourages you to make a compensation or insurance claim and then sells the claim on to a legal firm for their own gain. Claims farmers are known to encourage people to make housing disrepair claims. They work as an extra middleman and some will let you believe they are working for the council, but they are not.
Claims farmers frequently approach tenants in Derby by going door to door in most areas of city. They could be targeting your area. You may also be targeted through paid social media advertising campaigns, which also may appear to be supported by the Council or Derby Homes. They can sometimes use questionable techniques to get you to agree to sign up with them. This can include cold calling and claiming to work for Derby Homes or Derby City Council to get access into your home.
We do not support or work with any of these types of companies. If they come to your door, be wary of giving out your personal information.
- Never let anyone into your home unannounced - We always book our visits in advance and never cold call
- Always ask for identification - Both Derby Homes and Derby City Council employees will show you branded photo ID, giving the name of the officer. They will also often wear other branded uniform, such as a lanyard or jacket.
- Call the police if you feel scared or threatened
- Talk to us before you sign any documents
NO WIN, NO FEE
No win, no fee agreements, also called conditional fee agreements (CFA) sound good, but they don't tell the full story. If you lose a legal case, there are other costs to consider as well as your lawyer's fee. You would still be liable for court costs and possibly damages for the winning party. Some tenants have been left in debt with large legal bills. If the solicitor realises they have no chance of winning they could drop the case, making you, the claimant, foot the bill. You should make sure you are aware of your rights and any cooling off period for any agreement you sign. In most cases, if you decide to cancel after this period you will probably be liable to pay legal fees.
Claims farming can lead to serious financial trouble
In one case, a tenant took Derby Homes to court. They were advised to do so by a company claiming they would get all the disrepair issues fixed, along with compensation they were owed.
The case was unsuccessful. The tenant was ordered to pay significant legal and court costs, which they could not afford and caused them further issues.
Don’t be misled or bullied into signing anything, as you will be liable to pay fees if you change your mind.
We will always defend our position as a good, responsible landlord and would much rather deal with you directly to resolve your issues, rather than expensive solicitors.
Disrepair claims have a major negative impact on Derby Homes
They also affect you and the community you live in.
The number of claims against Derby Homes/Derby City Council is increasing. We pay out thousands of pounds in legal costs per year and the impact gets bigger with every new claim. Paying out this money leaves us with less to invest in much needed repairs and improvements in all the homes we manage.
We would prefer that any money was used improving or repairing your home, rather than going to these particular kind of legal firms, who are only interested in you to claim expensive fees.