Housing Association Accident Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a housing association accident we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a housing association accident and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.
In our guide to claiming
housing association accident compensation:
When renting properties to tenants, public bodies such as housing associations must abide by certain rules to ensure that the property is maintained in a sanitary condition, and that residents are not put in danger due to poor maintenance.
Failure to perform regular checks and implement a program of repairs could result in tenants sustaining injuries or illnesses ranging from cuts and lacerations to burn and scald injuries, to serious respiratory problems, such as asthma.
To make a successful claim, it must be shown that the party responsible for the property, in these cases the Housing Association, knew about the problem and failed to take the necessary steps to fix in a reasonable time frame.
Do I have a housing association accident claim?
You should be eligible to make a housing association accident injury claim if you sustained an injury:
- in the last three years, and;
- someone else was to blame, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
Claim eligibility - Common questions
What if a child was injured?
The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.
A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start a housing association accident claim on their own behalf.
What if I was diagnosed months after the housing association accident?
Depending on how your housing association accident happened, the three-year time limit may only start from the date you are diagnosed and learn of the cause of your injury. In some cases, this can be months or years after the cause occurred.
The amount of money you could claim for your housing association accident will depend on:
- the extent of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your housing association accident has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.
General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after a housing association accident? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
What is the average injury compensation for a housing association accident claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following a housing association accident will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your housing association accident compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life, your ability to work, and the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
Should I set up a personal injury trust?
If you are receiving means-tested benefits and are awarded compensation following a housing association accident injury, your benefits could be affected. In order to ring fence your compensation and protecting your benefits, you may be able to set up a "Personal Injury Trust" or "PI Trust". Read more: Should I set up a personal injury trust?
Housing association accident compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a housing association accident injury can be complicated.
Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.
Find out what your housing association accident claim could be worth now:
How long does a claim against a housing association take?
How long it can take to process a housing association accident claim can vary considerably.
A simple uncontested occupiers liability claim can settle in a month or two. However, if liability is denied it could take substantially longer. Normally, a claim should take 6 to 9 months. To read more about how long your claim could take, see: How long will my claim take?
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your housing association accident claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:
- Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
- Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
- Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
- Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.
What are the responsibilities of the housing association?
Housing association landlords must ensure that the properties they lease to tenants are kept in a liveable and sanitary condition. By law, they are responsible for:
- Keeping the boiler, plumbing systems and electrical heating equipment in good repair
- Keeping the roof, walls and plasterwork in good repair and watertight
- Fixing any leaking pipes, guttering and other signs of water ingress
- Tackling problems with damp and mould.
Depending on the terms of the lease or rental agreement, the housing association may also be responsible for maintaining other facilities such as the garden or the kitchen appliances.
A solicitor will assist with the identification of who is responsible for your injuries, and therefore who the claim should be made against, when you start your claim.
What are the risks arising from poorly-maintained properties?
Living in a property that does not meet basic sanitation and safety standards can pose a risk to human health. Some of the common problems experienced by tenants and their families include:
- Leaks and damp conditions that, if not tackled in timely manner, could cause mould-related illnesses such as asthma, especially in young or vulnerable residents
- Poorly maintained premises that can cause slip, trip and fall accidents or other injuries from collapsing ceilings, broken handrails and defective balconies
- Faulty wiring that poses a greater-than-average fire risk
- Poorly maintained and lit common areas such as stairwells, which can cause slip, trip and fall accidents
- Problems with windows and doors, which can cause condensation to build up leading to damp or mould growth, and may prevent escape in the event of fire
- Poor quality or incorrectly fitted boilers that can emit toxic fumes such as carbon monoxide, which can be fatal in some circumstances.
Making a Housing Association accident claim
Housing associations do not live in the properties they own and are not in a position to know about every defect that may arise in each individual unit.
To make a successful claim, it must therefore be established that:
- The housing association was notified of the hazard before the injury; and
- The housing association had a reasonable amount of time to make the necessary repairs, before the injury occurred.
Housing Association have a legal duty to respond to complaints as soon as reasonably possible.
The response time is usually interpreted as within 20 working days, but what is considered a "reasonable" amount of time will depend on the nature of the complaint.
If the complaint relates to an extremely serious, even life-threatening defect, the association may be expected to respond much sooner.
If the Housing Association is responsible for repairing the defect and they fail to do so within a reasonable time, then it may be possible to pursue a claim for compensation for the illness or injury a tenant or member of the public sustains as a result.
No win, no fee - the facts
Under a no win, no fee agreement (known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA') you can make a housing association accident claim without having to pay upfront legal fees. If your housing association accident claim is unsuccessful you won't have to pay any money to your solicitor.
No win, no fee guarantee
Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is zero financial risk in making a housing association accident claim - even if you don't win your claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim
What do I pay if I win my housing association accident claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my housing association accident claim?
If your housing association accident claim is not successful then you won't have to pay your solicitor any fees. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Why do most solicitors charge 25%?
25% success fees are charged by most law firms as this is the maximum fee that the Ministry of Justice allows them to charge. housing association accident claims can take a solicitor hundreds of hours work and they receive nothing if the case is lost. The success fee will be subject to your individual circumstances and the actual fee may vary. Call us for more information.
Can I get Legal Aid?
Legal aid is no longer available when making a personal injury claim, but a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee) can reduce the financial risks of making a claim.
How can Quittance help?
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:
if you can claim
to start a claim
Housing association accident FAQ's
Can I claim for someone else?
Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.
If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?
You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.
However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.
How long do I have to make a housing association accident claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the housing association accident to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your housing association accident claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a housing association accident after 3 years?
Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.
However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.
If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.
There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 612 7456 to find out if you are still able to claim housing association accident compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a housing association accident claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.
Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.
Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.
Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
Can I get an early compensation payment?
If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.