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:

Introduction

When renting properties to tenants, public bodies such as housing associations must abide by certain regulations. These rules exist to help ensure that properties are 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.

If you have been hurt or made ill while living in a rented home, you may be eligible to make an occupier's liability claim or a claim against your landlord.

For a claim to be successful, your solicitor will need to show that the party responsible for the property was aware of the problem that caused your injury, but failed to take the necessary steps to resolve the issue within a reasonable time frame.

What are the responsibilities of the housing association?

Housing associations must ensure that the properties they lease are kept in a liveable and sanitary state, including:

  • 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 mold.

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.

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 an injury claim against a housing association

Housing associations do not live in the properties they own and are not in a position to know about every defect in the properties they manage.

To make a successful claim, your solicitor will seek to establish that the housing association:

  • was notified of the hazard before the injury occurred, and;
  • had a reasonable amount of time to remedy the problem before the injury occurred.

Housing associations have a legal duty to respond to complaints as soon as reasonably possible.

For non-urgent problems, a response time of within 20 working days is considered reasonable. However, what is considered a 'reasonable' amount of time will depend on the nature of the complaint.

If the complaint relates to a serious or dangerous defect, an immediate response from the association would be reasonable.

If the housing association fails to act within a reasonable time frame and you sustain an injury as a result, it may be possible to pursue a compensation claim.

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.
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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.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

What if the other party denies liability?

If the defendant denies liability, your solicitor will build the strongest possible case in order to prove that the defendant is responsible for your housing association accident. Ultimately the solicitor will issue court proceedings on the defendant. Often this prompts an admission of liability before proceedings begin.

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.

Is there a catch?

The Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) sets out the terms between you and your solicitor., No Win No Fee is a regulated activity and as such there should be no nasty surprises in the agreement. Nevertheless, it is recommended that you read the agreement carefully and ask any questions if you are unsure.

How can Quittance help?

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and 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 376 1001 or arrange a callback:

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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.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

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.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

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 376 1001 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.

Calculate your claim limitation date

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.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

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.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

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.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Author:
Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher