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Compensation Claim against my landlord

Posted in: Need to Know | Ask the Experts

09/06/2010 8:20 pm

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Anonymous

Anonymous

10/06/2010 8:18 am

Name and Shame them - don't know all the details and know subjective but why do we keep hearing about collusion and other liberty taking to tenants? There's a post in Comments at the moment from a pensioner re: her (murdered son?) and once again, stating the poor treatment by landlord. Landlords are not all issue solvers, and all cases are subjective but there does appear a lack of training, skills and compassion from some of their staff.

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Nigel Rogers

Nigel Rogers

Posts: 17

21/06/2010 12:24 pm

I think it sounds like the dog is causing a situation where conditions close to those which might be described as a statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act are arising. If a landlord allows conditions which cause a risk to health to persist they could be prosecuted.

Unless there are specific clauses in the tenancy agreement which make the keeping of pets conditional on a landlord's approval or maintaining basic hygiene then I'm not sure the landlord, can insist the person gets rid of the dog. The option is there to take action against them on grounds of failing to keep basic hygiene I suppose, but, given their vulnerability, it is unlikely a decent landlord would want to consider this except as a last resort.

The fact that the mental health care co-ordinator is saying that the person does not engage is not a good sign. it sounds like a classic case of someone being in need of some less formal kind of support, such as might be provided by a tenancy support or floating support service.

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Angus Macdonald

Angus Macdonald

Posts: 4

21/06/2010 12:28 pm

It is always difficult to comment on a specific case without reviewing the evidence of incidents and how the landlord has attempted to resolve the situation.  The involvement of the Ombudsman is unclear because under normal circumstances the complainant should continue to use this route because they can recommend compensation if there has been a service failure. 
All social landlords should have a compensation policy which usually forms part of their formal Appeals and Complaints procedure.  It is quite common for the compensation policy to detail under which circumstances and how much financial compensation should be awarded. For example, they might weight the impact of the service failure using low, medium, high ratings. Each of these ratings might be given a financial value and this will be multiplied according to how long the service failure has occurred. 

 

The relatively straight forward part of seeking compensation is when you can demonstrate, for example, a loss of earnings. It becomes more difficult when you try to financially quantify the distress caused in the absence of a detailed compensation policy.
The complainant could consider the following options to seek advice or assistance with compensation:

·      Contact the Ombudsman again

·      Ask for a copy of the landlords compensation policy

·      Submit the information which proves any financial loss

·      Put the onus on the landlord and ask them to make an offer of compensation for distress

·      Avoid asking for an inflated amount of compensation for distress because it may be counter productive

·      Seek independent advice from a solicitor or advice centre

·      If the landlord is a housing association which does not have a detailed compensation policy, contact the relevant local authority and refer the housing association to that policy if it has a guide on the financial amounts which can be awarded.

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Abimbola  Badejo

Abimbola Badejo

Posts: 120

28/06/2010 10:47 pm

The fact that your landlord has decided to resolve this matter with you is to be welcomed. Assessing compensation for the type issues you have experienced is not an easy task. The decided cases on compensation for housing matters relate in the main to cases where the landlord has failed to repair premises as well as cases where the landlord has unlawfully evicted a tenant. In those cases the courts have over the years worked out a formula for assessing compensation. It seems to me that you case is closer to a disrepair case than to an action for unlawful eviction and it may be a sensible and pragmatic idea to try and deal with your case as though it is a disrepair case.

In trying to assess the compensation the key factors to consider are the nature of the problems caused by your neighbour, how this affected you and your family and how long the problems went on for. If you have suffered direct financial loss such as cost of phone calls, costs of personal possessions damaged by the dog and the like then those losses should be included in the compensation.

Without full details of the specific circumstances of your case, it is difficult to attempt to quantify the compensation. Your best bet at the moment is to seek specific advice on the likely compensation from a good housing solicitor. I know your landlord would prefer if you did not get a solicitor involved for obvious reasons of trying to save costs but the solicitor's role could be limited to trying to negotiate a settlement and if the negotiations are concluded early, that will keep costs down.

Alternatively, it always a good idea to ask the housing association to offer reasonable settlement proposals. They may offer you a figure which is too good to refuse. Equally, their opening offer may indicate how seriously or otherwise they view your complaint and that will help you in deciding whether they are really serious about resolving the matter.

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YulBrynner

YulBrynner

Posts: 11

29/06/2010 12:43 pm

I'm failing to see how the dog caused your family so much pain, loss and suffering? Was it aggressive, was it barking all night or fouling the shared communal area?Leaving aside all the emotive content in your e-mail then if what you say is true your landlord has breached their own tenancy agreement. I do not see the breach of a policy as a major issue and in fact your landlord can amend their own policies at any time they see fit. Presumably you moved by mutual consent rather being evicted? Your neighbour physically assaulted and harassed you but you were the one arrested? Your neighbour considers himself disabled or is he actually registered disabled or have a recognised heart condidtion? I also notice that you state your landlord failed to recognise 'our' diasabilities. What are those disabilities because if mulitiple members of your family have recognised or registered disabilities as you suggest, and these were ignored then this would be your best avenue to pursue. However I've got to say that I'm extremely sceptical and would love to hear the other side of the story. As things stand and in the absence of any evidence I would say that you don't have a strong case at all for compensation. If there is an award then I'd expect it to be in the low hundreds rather than thousands. Your landlord is absolutely right to suggest a method of alternative dispute resolution or out of court settlement and in fact a court would frown on any defendent who had not pursued this as a course of action.

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Anonymous

Anonymous

30/06/2010 1:04 pm

for all your suffering, and it seems to me atrocious for them to have got you arrested on lies, if ever comes to compensation it is very likely you will be offered peanuts, which will only add more distress and offence to injury.  Be very careful, because one of social landlords ploys in this cases it to make tenants who complain be categorised as 'unreasonable.'

You will need a good housing lawyer.  But whatever happens never give up your demand for justice and pursue them with your family, relatives, friends and other tenants until you get justice.   

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Junior

Junior

Posts: 649

30/06/2010 8:46 pm

Where do you live please

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Anonymous

Anonymous

30/06/2010 9:42 pm

Check out the Local Government Ombudsman website. They recommended I think £1500pa for a bad case of nuisance. I know it is a different Ombudsman but would give good guidance. The latest thinking is that both Ombudsman organisations will join together.

The Landlord appears to have traeted you dreadfully and should be brought to task for it.

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Anonymous

Anonymous

08/12/2010 10:35 am

Speak or fill out online a form relating to the Local Housing Ombudsman. just type in Google Housing Ombudsman and you will find it.  if your complaint is for a housing rented through the council then you will need to complain to the Local Government Housing Ombudsman, if not, then it is the Housing Ombudsman (say if you rent your property from a housing association, private landlord.)  it does take a long time as they are free so therefore very busy but they are well worth the wait. 

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kass

kass

Posts: 629

08/12/2010 11:10 am

One of the ploys why landlords ask you to quantify compensation:

1) if you ask too little, they might or might not even give it to you.

2) if you ask too much, they will try to use it to show you are being unreasonable.

Remember you are in a dispute with them, and whatever you say they will use it against you if they can.

As it has been said, if you have not lost work and earnings on paper it will be very hard for you to convince the court.

A lawyer advice is always good if you have access to one.  Ask your lawyer to help you present your case to the ombudsman first and see what happens.  

As It has been said in a previous post, do not give up until you get justice, both for your sake and for all other social residents abused by their landlords.

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Anonymous

Anonymous

08/12/2010 12:20 pm

What if the other tenant can proves his case?

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