Leaking water at properties is the most common reason for floorboards becoming damp, rotten and dangerous to walk on. It is also possible that the joists underneath will rot due to excess moisture, weakening the floorboards and increasing the likelihood of them giving way under a person's weight. Water leaks at rented properties are classified as defective installations, in the same way as gas leaks or faulty electrics, and are caused by poor maintenance and/or a landlord's failure to repair a known problem at their property. The landlord can therefore be held legally accountable for a water leak, as well as resulting problems, including rotting and damaged floorboards.
Rotten floorboards are usually the result of structural problems with properties, such as when broken roofing or gutters cause water to leak inside. Apart from floorboards that crack or give way unexpectedly, water leaking into a property and damp can cause floorboards to warp and become uneven, with raised edges creating a tripping hazard for occupants.
The safety of floor tiling at rented properties is another issue landlords must attend to. Poor fitting may result in tiles cracking which can cause accidents, for example, in bathrooms. Landlords are not responsible for squeaky and creaking floorboards unless the tenancy agreement specifically says so. This is a regular problem with older properties, but is not considered to be a disrepair or safety issue that the landlord must deal with.
It is important for tenants to take photographs of rotten, warped or cracked flooring and tiling, as this will provide evidence of the disrepair issue. Under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, landlords are obliged to provide safe accommodation for tenants and must address reported safety issues, including damaged floorboards, in a timely manner. If they fail to do so and a tenant is injured due to their inaction, they will be in breach of their legal obligations and liable to pay compensation to the injured tenant.
The environmental health departments of local councils enforce health and safety standards for rented homes, assessing hazards at properties under what is known as the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). This includes an assessment of ‘dampness, condensation, and mould growth’ as well as ‘dangerous or decaying stairs’, two major safety issues either of which may cause floorboards to become damaged, and see-saw or break causing an accident.
If a tenant is concerned about the safety of floorboards at a rented property therefore, the first step is to request an inspection from the local council. If an environmental health officer judges a property to be dangerous, the council will then be able to take action to force the landlord to make the necessary repairs. If the local council does not take action for whatever reason, a tenant will still be able to make a personal injury compensation claim against their landlord if they are injured because of a damaged, loose or rotten floorboard.
Injuries caused by structural defects and defective installations at rented properties often lead to tenants making personal injury claims against their landlords. Landlords must ensure that their rented properties are safe to live in, and that repairs are undertaken whenever necessary. Our specialist solicitors can help tenants claim compensation from private landlords, housing associations or council housing departments for accidents caused by housing disrepair. Contact our experienced team of housing law experts today for free legal advice or to get started making a no win no fee personal injury claim against your landlord.
We have won a variety of cases for clients who have been injured at rented properties, ranging from a claim on behalf of a tenant who fell down poorly lit communal stairs, to a claim on behalf of a child who was injured by discarded building materials at a rented property.
Claiming with us is easy. Get a free no obligation initial consultation about your case, your rights, and our no win no fee agreement. All information can be taken over the phone. Medical treatment is local to you. We aim to keep the claims process short by keeping claims out of court. If your claim does need to go to court it is unlikely that you will need to attend court, as cases settle before the final hearing.
Compensation will pay for private healthcare treatment. It will also cover:
Expenses (such as the cost of travel to hospital appointments)
Loss of income
The amount of compensation you receive will depend on the severity of your injuries and the likelihood that you’ll make a full recovery. We’ll seek expert opinions on what care you’ll need to ensure that the compensation we claim will be sufficient.