Disrepair Claim Advice
We are aware that some of our tenants are receiving home visits or phone calls from people claiming to be from a disrepair claim company. They often say they are from housing and may even claim to be from EPIC Housing or the council. They may tell you that they are there to complete a survey on your home.
The individuals represent claim handlers or solicitors and their aim is to make money from you (usually up to £500 per referral, whether the claim is real or not). They will tell you that your home needs repair and they will encourage you to put in a claim against us at EPIC Housing. Many of these companies are operating illegally.
If you have received a visit or a call from a disrepair claim company and you are not sure what to do, please contact us first to discuss it. Please be careful before you commit to any agreements with a disrepair claim company as they could put you at serious financial risk.
Any person visiting your property from EPIC Housing will have an EPIC Housing ID badge and where possible, would have already arranged an appointment to visit you.
What to do if you think you have disrepair in your home?
If you think that you have any disrepair in your home, please contact us so that we can arrange for our surveyor to visit and complete an inspection.
At EPIC Housing, we are committed to ensuring every tenant’s home is safe and well maintained. If we receive a claim for disrepair, we will contact the tenant and arrange to visit ourselves to assess any issues.
One of our surveyors will visit your home to do a survey that will check for disrepair and point out anything that needs to be done. Courts view our surveyors as expert witnesses; this means that they also have a duty to the court.
What happens if decide you claim for disrepair?
Claims can take up to two years to resolve and the solicitor acting on your behalf will advise you not to allow us to carry out any repairs on your home while the claim is ongoing. This would mean that any improvements scheduled, such as new front doors, kitchens or bathrooms, could be put on hold until the claim is resolved.
Once you have started a claim and signed the solicitor’s documentation, very rarely will the solicitor allow you to change your mind and stop the claim. They will advise you that if you want to stop the claim, you may be liable for:
- Charges for the survey they have arranged, often up to £1,000; and/or
- Credit agreement charges of over £500 for ‘no win, no fee’ to cover legal cost insurance.
How disrepair claims affect EPIC Housing and our tenants
It costs a lot of money for us to defend disrepair cases in court. The more we spend to defend cases, the less we have for repairs, improvements and funding for other services for our tenants.
Remember if you are in any doubt, please contact us in the first instance. We are here to ensure that your home is well maintained and safe at all times.
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