Halton Housing is aware that a number of customers are receiving home visits or calls from Disrepair Claim Companies. To gain access to your property, they will often say that they are from ‘the housing’ or working on behalf of Halton Housing and that they are there to complete a survey on the property.
Many Halton Housing customers have also reported that some are wearing identification badges that are very similar to the badges that Halton Housing staff wear.
These people represent claim handlers or solicitors. Their aim is to make money, usually up to £500 per referral (whether or not the claim is a genuine disrepair claim). They will tell you that your home is in need of repair and will encourage you to put in a claim against Halton Housing.
Claims handling companies are required to register with the Ministry of Justice. Many of the companies cold calling in Halton are operating illegally.
Halton Housing wants to raise awareness amongst customers to be aware of them, let them know what happens if you claim and how that claim affects us.
Disrepair claim companies use a legal scheme that was introduced to protect tenants from poor landlords.
These companies want to make money from you and your home and you need to know the facts in case they approach you. They will tell you that they have recently won numerous claims against Halton Housing.
These claims can take up to two years to resolve and this is very likely to cause further inconvenience to you, as the solicitor ‘acting’ on your behalf may advise you not to allow us to carry out any repairs while the claim is on-going.
Once you have initiated a claim and signed the solicitor’s documentation, very rarely will the solicitor allow you to change your mind and stop the claim. They will advise you that, if you want to stop the claim, you will be liable for:
- Charges for the survey they have arranged, often up to £1000
- Credit agreement charges of over £500 for “no win, no fee” to cover legal cost insurance
Please be careful before you commit to any agreements with these companies, as they could put you at financial risk.
What happens if you claim for disrepair?
A surveyor from Halton Housing will visit your home to do a survey. This will check for disrepair and point out what needs to be done.
Courts view Halton Housing surveyors as expert witnesses; this means that they also have a duty to the court.
Our surveyor will also check if we need to charge you for any property damage during your tenancy.
You will need to provide us with access to your home to carry out a survey in event of any claim you make against us.
How disrepair claims affect us
As you can imagine, it is extremely costly for us to go to court and defend cases. We don’t have insurance against these claims, therefore the more that we spend to defend cases, the less we have for repairs, improvements and other services for our customers.
We have a team to deal with cases and to help protect us against claims; the work they do avoids costs to ensure we have more to spend on your home and neighbourhoods.
Please be aware we will vigorously defend any case brought against us and we will deal with disrepair claims promptly.
- Consider the needs of our customers whilst carrying out repairs and maintenance
- Provide a reliable, accessible service
- Consistently deliver high-quality work
- Meet Health and Safety Standards
- Meet our legal and contractual obligations
- Deliver value for money
- Involve customers and learn from feedback.
Take a look at our dedicated repairs page.
For further information visit our bogus callers website page.
If you need to log a new repair, have any concerns or require further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.