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Taking county court action against landlords for disrepair

This content applies to England & Wales

How a tenant can take court action against their landlord for disrepair.

County court action

The tenant can sue the landlord in the county court for breach of contract if s/he has not met her/his repairing obligations, or for failure to meet her/his liabilities. The outcome will usually be damages to compensate for the disrepair and/or injunctions and/or orders to compel the landlord to do the necessary work. Court action should generally only be considered as a last resort because it can be costly and time consuming.

Gathering information before going to court

Before going to court, it is important to gather together enough information to prove the case. This is likely to include:

  • proof of when the landlord was notified of the disrepair and related correspondence
  • photographs of the disrepair and of any damage caused to personal belongings
  • any evidence available from experts (eg surveyors, environmental health officers)
  • the tenancy agreement and other documents relating to the tenancy
  • any relevant medical reports detailing the effects of the bad housing conditions on the health or stress levels of the occupants
  • details of any costs incurred as a result of the disrepair

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