If we don’t meet our obligations to keep your home in good repair, your home could be said to be in disrepair.
It’s really important to us that you’re happy with the services we provide – and we’ll do all we can to support you in looking after your home.
If you’re unhappy with any part of our repairs service, please get in touch by:
· Emailing us at email@example.com
· Calling us on 01302 862862
Claims management companies
When it comes to disrepair claims, you may be approached by claims management companies who will tell you they can help you make a claim against us.
However, these companies aren’t all they appear to be. They could put you at serious financial risk by not giving you all the information you need before agreeing to work with them.
Claims management companies target tenants, particularly tenants of social housing landlords like ourselves, and encourage you to make a claim for disrepair.
They then sell your claim to solicitors who act as intermediaries between you and your landlord (in this case, us), and represent you and handle the claim on your behalf, for a cost.
Sometimes, they may even tell you that they are surveyors and say they’re from St Leger Homes or City of Doncaster Council. All of our teams carry St Leger Homes identification badges, so make sure you ask to see their ID before letting them into your home.
If you are in doubt, our teams will be happy to wait as you call 01302 862862 to verify their identity with our office. Do not let them into your home and call the police and let us know if you are serious concerns.
Be aware of risks
These claims management companies will usually tell you that they operate on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. But this isn’t always the case. There are lots of examples where customers have faced thousands of pounds of debt as a result of signing up to their agreements.
They usually also charge a fixed lump sum up front to take out an insurance policy to cover the cost of your claim. This lump sum can be a significant amount. Any potential compensation you receive from a claim may reduce to cover solicitor fees or legal costs (ours and yours if the claim is unsuccessful).
Fees if you change your mind
When you’ve put forward a claim and signed documentation from a solicitor, they will usually not allow you to stop the claim if you change your mind. If you want to stop the process, you may be liable for fees for any surveys of your home, or the fixed premium for any insurance policy you’re advised to take out.
These companies may not explain that if your case goes to court and is dismissed, you could be ordered to pay our legal costs, which could be thousands of pounds.
It takes a long time to resolve
Some claims can take years to resolve, and you may have to appear in court to give evidence as part of the process, which can be distressing.
You could be in breach of your tenancy agreement
During this time, most companies acting on your behalf will advise you not to allow us to access or visit your home to do any repairs. This will put you in breach of your tenancy agreement with us.
As your landlord, it’s our responsibility to make sure your home is safe and kept in repair, so we’ll attempt to visit your home anyway, having given you notice of our visit. If there’s a health and safety risk, we may request a court injunction to gain urgent access to do the work.
It affects other services we provide
Defending disrepair cases is extremely expensive for us. Any money we spend on these claims takes away from funding and resources for repairs, planned investment, and essential support services.
If you make a claim
We’ll arrange for a surveyor to carry out a survey in your home.
During the survey, they will make a note of any repairs your home needs, and check if we need to charge you for any damage.
If the survey identifies repairs that are our responsibility, we’ll arrange to visit your home and do the work.
We’ll also check our records to see whether you’ve reported any of the repairs to us before, in line with your tenancy agreement. We’ll rigorously defend any dishonest or bogus claims.
We encourage you to contact us to talk about any problems or concerns.
You can also access independent help and advice from other organisations, including: