Compensation for disrepair and poor conditions

You can ask your landlord for compensation if they fail to carry out repairs within a reasonable time when you have reported them.

You could also get compensation if your home is unfit to live in because of poor conditions.

If your landlord agrees to a rent reduction or refund because of the problems, get this in writing.

You can take court action if your landlord won't agree to compensation.

The court expects you to try and negotiate first. You also need to provide evidence.

What you can claim compensation for

You can claim for actual financial loss as well as for general inconvenience.

Damage to belongings

You can claim for items that are damaged or destroyed because of poor conditions or during repair works.

Financial loss

You can claim if you've had to spend more money because of problems with conditions in your home. 

For example: higher electric bills when using plug in heaters due to a broken boiler.

Keep receipts and bills to show money you paid because of disrepair or poor conditions


You can claim for inconvenience such as:

  • disruption to your daily life

  • not having full use of your home

  • time spent waiting for builders or inspections

The amount you could get depends on how the problem affected you and for how long.

Damage to health

You can claim if your physical or mental health is affected by the conditions in your home.

The amount depends on how you were affected and for how long.

You can also claim for:

  • loss of earnings if you could not work

  • extra expenses such as prescriptions or travel to hospital

Keep sick notes or hospital reports that show how your health has been affected.

When you can start legal action

You can take legal action to claim compensation during your tenancy or after it ends.

You must have reported the problem to your landlord during your tenancy.

Some private landlords evict tenants who ask for repairs or compensation so it may be better to delay legal action until you move out.

You have up to 6 years to claim or 3 years for a personal injury claim. The time runs from when your landlord should have carried out the work.

Negotiate with your landlord

It can save time and money if you can reach an agreement before court.

You can keep negotiating even if you've started court action.

Explain why you think you are entitled to compensation. Follow up conversations with a letter or email. Keep copies.

Consider reasonable offers from your landlord - including offers to reduce your rent. There’s no guarantee you'll get more if you go to court.

Formal complaints

You could get compensation after a complaint to a free independent service such as an ombudsman or redress scheme.

You have to complain to your landlord or letting agent first.

You can complain to the Housing Ombudsman if you're a council or housing association tenant and are unhappy with the way your repairs issue or complaint has been dealt with.

You can complain to a redress scheme if you rent privately through a letting agent, but only if the agent has contributed to the problem.

Last updated: 18 March 2020

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