Housing Condition Claims – why the increase and what can social housing providers do? 

Recent figures show that Housing Condition Claims are on the increase, and this means increased cost for social housing providers. 

The industry-wide increase is due to a combination of factors, some of which are: 

  • Homes Act 2018 (this came into force for all existing tenancies on 20/03/2020)  

Under this Act, a landlord must now ensure a property is fit for human habitation.   

Amongst other things, this means properties must be free from ‘damp’, which could include condensation.  

This is a step change to what we have been used to in the industry over the last 30 years. The Homes Act does not limit a landlord’s liability to structural dampness.    

  • Media coverage   

For example, the ITV Report on Surviving Squalor: Britain’s Housing Shame. 

  • Increase in Claims Companies, No Win, No Fee 

If a customer’s solicitors ‘win’ a disrepair case, a social landlord must pay their costs which are not currently capped.  

  • COVID-19

Housemark data stated that social housing providers reduced their spending on repairs and maintenance by 16% during the pandemic. 

– Legacy COVID-19 Lockdown Repairs – issues may have been reported by a customer during lockdown and not actioned. 

– Access – increase in no access for reported repairs. 


  • Historical lack of investment in stock 

Fear not though, there are steps that social housing providers can take to turn the tide on these claims, and improve housing conditions for customers. Our top five tips for landlords can be found here: https://www.msbsolicitors.co.uk/get-the-disrepair-job-done/.  

Alongside our top five tips, social housing providers may also consider: 

1. Set up an internal designated disrepair team 

Ensure the team have a broad skill set, both technical surveying knowledge and also excellent customer service and organisational skills.  

2. Data  

Collect, analyse and use your disrepair to adapt. Identify any weakness in your internal processes and make improvements. 

At MSB we are able to produce bespoke data reports for all clients. We will ensure you have the data you need to improve conditions for customers and reduce your costs.  

3. Learn   

Review claims in line with the complaints procedure – where did your organisation go wrong? Put clear actions in place to improve, to ensure you learn from any historical mistakes. 

4. Train staff  

A repair can be reported to anyone who works for a social housing provider.  This means the whole business needs to understand the importance to getting repairs done. Training staff about housing conditions is therefore vital.  

5. Resource 

To reduce the costs on Housing Condition Claims, it is prudent to resource them sufficiently from the start. This, in the long run, will ensure works are done and quickly, which will drive down your overall costs in the long run. 

Contact us, we are here to help

If you have any questions on how you can improve your internal disrepair procedures and/or need disrepair training please contact Louise Murphy, Partner and Head of Social Housing at MSB below.