Last Updated on 13.2.24 by Melissa Moore
According to the most recent census conducted in England and Wales, 20.3% of the population live in privately rented accommodation and 17.1% of people live in local council or housing association properties.
In Manchester, 39% of the housing sector is dominated by privately rented housing.
If your landlord is conscientious and ensures their property is safe and standards compliant, you’ll have a home that allows you to relax and thrive. If, however, your landlord does not maintain the property to safe standards, you could potentially suffer an injury or poor health outcome as a result of the properties poor condition.
Your landlords responsibility
Landlords owe their tenants and visitors to their property a duty of care. They are legally obligated to prevent their tenants and visitors from suffering injury or damage to their property caused by defects in their rental property.
To be more specific, this duty of care includes:
- Regular maintenance and repairs: Landlords are responsible for keeping the rental property in a habitable condition. This includes addressing any structural issues, ensuring that electrical, plumbing, heating, and ventilation systems are in working order, and repairing broken appliances or fixtures provided by the landlord. Regular maintenance checks are essential to identify and fix any potential hazards before they cause harm.
- Safety standards compliance: Landlords must ensure their properties meet certain safety standards. This includes installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, ensuring fire safety regulations are adhered to, and maintaining secure and functional locks on doors and windows to provide adequate security.
- Addressing environmental hazards: The landlord must also take steps to prevent exposure to harmful substances or conditions such as lead paint, asbestos, or pest infestations. This involves not only remedying these issues when they arise but also conducting regular inspections to prevent their occurrence.
- Common areas maintenance: In properties with shared spaces, such as apartment buildings with communal hallways or shared gardens, the landlord is responsible for keeping these areas clean, safe, and in good repair. This includes ensuring adequate lighting, maintaining stairways and walkways, and ensuring they are free from hazards that could cause slips, trips, or falls.
- Legal compliance: Landlords must adhere to building regulations. This compliance extends to obtaining necessary planning for any structural changes or major repairs.
Making a personal injury claim against your landlord
To be successful with making a claim for personal injury, a claimant must prove that they have reported the issue to the landlord prior to the accident occurring and the landlord was provided with reasonable time to fix the issue before the injury occurred.
The law does not provide a definition for what a reasonable time would be, however some repairs should be treated as emergencies and repaired within a matter of days, such as large leaks, unsafe electrical appliances, gas leaks and pest infestations.
If you sustain an injury in your rented home, you should seek medical assistance, report the incident to your landlord, take photographic evidence of your injuries and if possible, provide evidence of reporting the issue to your landlord.
How the personal injury claim will be quantified?
When a tenant suffers an injury as a result of their landlord’s negligence, the quantification of a personal injury claim involves several key components. The compensation amount is determined based on various factors, primarily focusing on the severity of the injury and the financial losses incurred due to the injury.
Here’s a detailed breakdown:
- General damages for pain, suffering, and loss of amenity: This aspect of the claim relates to the physical and psychological impact of the injury on the tenant’s life. It takes into account the severity of the pain, the duration of the recovery period, and any long-term effects on the tenant’s quality of life. UK law refers to established guidelines and previous case law to assess the value of these damages.
- Medical expenses: Any medical costs incurred as a result of the injury are recoverable. This includes expenses for immediate medical treatment, ongoing care, rehabilitation, and any future medical costs related to the injury.
- Loss of earnings: If the tenant has to take time off work due to the injury, they can claim for lost wages. This also includes any future loss of earnings if the injury has a long-term impact on their ability to work or if it necessitates a change in career.
- Additional care or assistance: If the injury requires the tenant to seek additional care or assistance, either temporarily or permanently, the costs associated with this care can be claimed. This might include the cost of a caregiver or the need for special equipment.
- Property damage: If personal property was damaged as a result of the incident that caused the injury, the cost of repairing or replacing these items can also be included in the claim.
- Out-of-pocket expenses: This covers miscellaneous expenses directly related to the injury, such as travel costs to and from medical appointments.
- Interest: Depending on the duration of the case, interest may be added to the compensation amount. This is calculated from the date of the injury or from when the claim was made.
- Mitigating factors: The compensation amount can be affected by mitigating factors. For instance, if the tenant’s actions contributed to the severity of the injury, this could reduce the amount of compensation.
In quantifying the claim, it’s important for the tenant to keep detailed records of all expenses, losses, and impacts on their life. Legal representation is often crucial in ensuring that all relevant factors are considered and that the tenant receives fair compensation in line with personal injury law in England and Wales. Each case is different, and the final compensation amount will depend on the specifics of the injury and its consequences on the tenant’s life.
If you have been injured in your rented home and would like legal advice on how to start a claim, contact Gorvins solicitor Melissa Moore on 0161 930 5151 or the Head of Personal Injury, Stuart Biddle on 0161 950 5117 for a no obligation discussion.
Alternatively, you can email us at Enquiries@gorvins.com or fill in the online form.