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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 30007
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I live in a housing association, L&Q. It’s a 1 bed flat that

Customer Question

I live in a housing association, L&Q. It’s a 1 bed flat that I pay full rent for. I have had a continuous leak for 5 years that runs into electrics and they have now admitted the flat is unsafe but have not confirmed a date for repair so I said they should move me to a replacement flat as the water goes into the electrics. They said they can only move me into a hotel. This is not a council property, this is an private housing association property that I directly rent from l&q, I pay rent for a flat and they want to put me in a one bed hotel for the foreseeable future. I have an eye operation next week so told them I cannot move to a random hotel in the middle of next week. Are you able to offer a solution that will push them into stopping with these delay tactics. I also have proof that they let this flat out knowing there are internal leaks in the building
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this? In which country do you live? If different, which country is your legal question related to?
Customer: i life in the U.K. I’ve spokeb to a no win no fee Solitictor so I may give this to them but I have my surgery next week so I can stay in limbo for so long
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: as above
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: the leak has been ongoing for 5 years and L&Q previously lied about there be a fix which was complete. Now they are saying they are going to have to send a surveyor to my flat to investigate the leak but they don’t have a date on when this will happen. This is causing my anxiety to go through the roof
Submitted: 10 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 10 days ago.

Hello and thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years’ experience. Please be aware that although I will endeavour to reply to you promptly, I am also in full time private practice and so I may not be available to respond immediately and it may also take me a few minutes to prepare a reply. The site will notify you as soon as I respond. I look forward to working with you to answer your question fully.

I am very sorry to read of the above and I imagine how frustrating it must be. I will certainly try to clarify the position for you.

May I confirm if you have raised a formal complaint to the housing Association previously please? If so, approximately when was this?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I raise a complaint with this housing association every year
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
About the same issue
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Hi Joshua
Expert:  Joshua replied 10 days ago.

thank you. Have you taken the complaint any further than the housing association itself?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
2 seperate emails I’ve sent asking for dates for resolution etc - I’ve had no response
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Sorry I can’t afford to call
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I’ve written to the ombudsman, they just repeat what L&Q have told me in their response. My local mp usually writes to L&Q but that takes her months to do that every time the leak happens. The leak is going into my electrics and it is falling a structural building issue so I don’t see why I should go to a hotel room for an unknown duration whilst they pretend to investigate when I pay £960 for a 1 bed flat. I have eye surgery next week I’ve told them this and they have only given me the hotel option which is no where near the hospital and doesn’t have the facilities to support my recovery. They are the ones who let a property with all these issues I don’t know why I’m being punished to put up with it all
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Do you think you’ve got enough info to come back with a next step direction for L&Q that will push things in my favour. I’d prefer not to rant on too much on this, I’m looking for an action that will progress this on?
Expert:  Joshua replied 10 days ago.

Thank you. Finally from what you say, you have escalated the complaint to the Housing ombudsman but they have found against you? If so do you know why they found against you? my initial reaction is that housing association that has failed to carry out a repair for which they are responsible under the terms of your tenancy for a period of some five years is not lawful and I am surprised if this is the case that the ombudsman did not find against them in this respect

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
No the ombudsman did not rule against me. They just agreed that L&Q had followed the correct steps despite L&Q not confirming they had made a perm solution
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Housing Ombudsmans are useless sorry there’s no point in brining them into it - they are overwhelmed and short staffed. They are confused with high turnover. Do you have advice on next steps?
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I’m looking for a response from your that will make the housing association jump into action, do you have that response?
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Joshua I may have to cancel this subscription, I’m not sure your going to be able to help sorry?
Expert:  Joshua replied 10 days ago.

thank you. I have heard similar anecdotal information about the ombudsman though such an egregious case such as this is somewhat bigger belief that this is the ombudsman's position.

There are two approaches you can take. The first is to continue to pursue the matter through the ombudsman and request a review of the decision on the grounds that they have not applied the law. section 11 landlord and tenant act 1985 requires the housing association to keep in repair the sanitary fittings in the property and maintain the structure of the property which includes preventing leaks. Failure to do so even for a relatively short period let alone a period of this nature amounts to a breach of statutory law in this respect and accordingly, it appears on the face of what you say that the decision the basement has reached is plainly wrong. A request to the ombudsman in this respect must usually be made within four weeks of the date of their decision.

The alternative, is to consider approaching the matter through the courts. The disadvantage of this approach is that there are court fees to pay and that you may also be exposed to legal costs of the Housing ombudsman. You could seek to apply for an injunction requiring the housing ombudsman to comply with the above legislation and repair the leak. There is a fee of ££332 to make an application for an injunction though if you are on benefits, you can apply for a fee remission in this respect:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-n16a-application-for-injunction-general-form

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Thanks that’s great advice, I’ve already approached a no win no fee solicitor and they assessing this now
Expert:  Joshua replied 10 days ago.

I'm glad the above is of some assistance but if you have any further questions, please revert to me.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Thanks I looked at that injunction link
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Can I serve L&Q with an injunction?
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Would that not make more sense then serving the ombudsman with an injunction
Expert:  Joshua replied 10 days ago.

Yes. An injunction can be served on housing associations just as anyone else. I'm sorry if I did not make the above clear but in terms of the injunction, this would be as against the housing association not be housing ombudsman. There is no basis as you say for serving an injunction on the housing ombudsman in the circumstances

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
what would be the costs of an injunction if things went wrong, could I get insurance just incase I lose the case and L&Q asked me to cover the legal costs
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Sorry no that’s clear
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I think I like this injunction route - would I be liable for costs though if things went wrong
Expert:  Joshua replied 10 days ago.

Legal costs for issuing an injunction is £332 but the court has discretion as regards ***** ***** costs in the event you are unsuccessful though it is not entirely clear how you would reasonably be unsuccessful in the circumstances based upon what you say above. you could look at sourcing a no win no fee housing law solicitor potentially in this matter

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Hmm interesting, is there insurance in could get to protect me if i did this myself and didn’t get a no win no fee solicitor?
Expert:  Joshua replied 10 days ago.

No win no fee solicitors operate typically under a legal costs insurance policy which covers the risks of legal costs to the claimant.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
your advice would be generally to get them to do this for me
Expert:  Joshua replied 10 days ago.

If your claim is one that is accepted by a no win no fee solicitor, this will generally be a useful approach as it removes much of the work and risk to you. If a solicitor is not satisfied as regards ***** ***** of your claim, then they may refuse the instruction in which case you would be faced with making the application yourself.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I hAve a passion for these white collar criminals - these housing associations that build Grenfell type buildings and leave you to rot so I got excited when you mentioned this injunction but I think it’s right to be cautious about the financial fallback on myself
Expert:  Joshua replied 10 days ago.

I hope the above is of some assistance but if you have any further questions, please revert to me.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Thank you
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I may come back to you tomorrow
Expert:  Joshua replied 10 days ago.

I'm glad the above answers all your questions for now. If you have any follow up questions please reply back to me.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
https://www.gocompare.com/home-insurance/legal-expenses-and-home-insurance/ I think I might do this myself and get the legal insuranceBe the benchmark for the little person as a lot of tenants are being left to rot by these housing associations
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Would you be able to able offer advise to complete the injunction process if I decided to pursue this root?
Expert:  Joshua replied 10 days ago.

consider that most insurance products of this nature are for dealing with defence. Most do not cover actually making claims. Unfortunately, I am limited in the service I can provide through the service to legal information rather than representation

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
https://www.dfalaw.co.uk/faq_type/what-is-after-the-event-insurance/I found thisBut I trust you know Joshua. I will come back if there is more questions on this, thank you
Expert:  Joshua replied 10 days ago.

I did not mean to suggest that it is not possible to obtain such insurance but rather the initial link you supplied was in relation to legal cover for home insurance and it was in respect of this insurance that my above comments were directed. specialist policies are available as you say

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Joshua replied 10 days ago.

I hope the above is of some assistance but if you have any further questions, please revert to me.

Expert:  Joshua replied 9 days ago.

I trust the above was of assistance and that you do not have any follow up questions for now. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though.

Expert:  Joshua replied 7 days ago.

Thank you again for visiting JustAnswer and see you again in the future I hope.