Legislation exists to financially compensate tenants in a number of situations, outlined below.
The circumstances under which payments relating to Home Loss will be paid are set out in our Decant Policy.
The circumstances under which disturbance payments will be paid are also set out in our Decant Policy.
The Right to Repair
Tenants may be entitled to compensation for a listed range of certain repairs or maintenance problems affecting health, safety or security if our Housing Service fails twice to complete a repair within the prescribed timescales. In order to qualify under this scheme, the estimated cost of the repair should be £250.00 or less, and should be included in those listed in our Right to Repair Policy.
Compensation for Tenants’ own Improvements
Tenants have a contractual right to claim compensation at the end of their tenancy for ‘qualifying improvements’ they have carried out to their home.
Compensation for late or missed visits
You can claim a compensatory visit for missed or late visits, with payments depending on whether the repair falls under the Right to Repair Scheme. These payments vary between £10.00 and £50.00. For more information, see Compensation for late repairs.
Any discretionary award for activities or lack of performance not included within the Tenant Statutory Right will be determined by the Head of Housing and Property Services.
Circumstances where claims for compensation will not be met:
- The loss or damage is a result of routine failure of a building’s component, fixture or fittings where our Housing has not been negligent
- Where non-availability of parts or materials prevents our Housing Service completing repairs within the published repair timescales and the tenant has been kept fully informed
- Where service failure is the result of extreme or unforeseen conditions (such as weather conditions), where we have taken all reasonable steps to restore services or facilities under the prevailing conditions
- Where service failure is due to interruptions in gas, electricity or water supplies as a result of the non-performance of utility companies, or through the action of the tenant
- Where the loss or damage is the tenants’ own fault, including the failure to report repairs in a timely manner or to keep appointments
- Where the loss or damage arises from an alteration or repair, which the tenant has arranged privately or carried out themselves
- Where the loss or damage is due to acts of negligence by a third party, for example, a visitor or contractor who's not acting on behalf of the council
- Where we have acted reasonably and complied with our legal and contractual liabilities
- From loss or damage to personal possessions stored in a council garage, outhouse, or shed
We will ensure that all contractors carry Public Liability Insurance and they have a clear and appropriate Compensation and Complaints Policy. Where a claim is made in respect of personal injury, damage to possessions or other financial loss alleged to have been caused by a council contractor’s negligence, we will not accept liability for the claim, but will refer the claim to the contractor themselves.
Home Contents Insurance
As your landlord, we have a responsibility to insure the structure of the building and any fixtures and fittings that belong to us. We will not be liable for the actions of an independent contractor we instruct where they are negligent or in breach of any duty owed to you. We will ask that all contractors carry adequate insurance to cover third party damage.
You are responsible for insuring your own contents such as your personal belongings,
furniture, carpets or decorations. We strongly advise you to take out your own home contents insurance cover. We will not be able to reimburse you for loss of contents including carpets.
Most contents insurance policies cover your home contents against loss, damage or theft. If you have such a policy, it also likely that your contents will be covered if there is any damage caused by any water leakage, or as a result of storms or flooding. Typical items covered by a policy include furniture, clothes, electrical items, money and jewellery. It also covers some fixtures such as carpets and curtains.
We recommend that tenants take out home contents insurance because it can make difficult situations much easier. The following scenarios demonstrate this:
- If a tenant was away on holiday and there was a leak, which ruined their carpet and bedding, the Council would not be liable to assist with drying out the property, or replacing ruined items. If the tenant has insurance, most providers would assist with supplying a dehumidifier to dry out the property and to replace ruined items, to the same value
- If a tenant’s fence or shed was purposely set on fire and there was damage to the garden area or the fire spread to the house, the Council would not be liable for replacing items. We would rebuild the house, if necessary. If a tenant had insurance, providing the correct producers had been followed, it is likely that the insurance company would replace the fencing, shed and any damage to items inside the house. If the damage to the house meant the tenant had to move out to alternative accommodation, the insurance company would cover costs, if this was part of the cover, allowing the tenant to potentially move into hotel accommodation.
- If a tenant’s furniture or clothing were to become damaged or ruined by condensation-related damp, the Council would not be responsible for replacing any spoilt items. If a tenant had contents insurance. they may be able to make a claim for the damaged items. This would also apply if items had been stored in areas susceptible to moisture and rodent damage such as sheds, porches ad garages.
- If a tenant made changes inside their home, which resulted in damage being caused to the property, the Council would not be obliged to “put things right”. In such circumstances, it would be the tenant’s responsibility to make good any damage. If a tenant had contents insurance, they may be able to make a claim for the cost incurred.
You must not do anything that may invalidate or increase the premium for the insurance that we provide for the structure of the building and any fixtures or fittings that belong to us.