Disrepair Q & A

Question: Do you rent your home but find it difficult to get your landlord to carry out even the most basic of repairs?

  • Damp / Mould growth
  • Rotting windows frames
  • Leaking roof
  • Broken toilet / bath / shower
  • Electrics do not work
  • Broken noiler

The above are just a few examples of problems you may be facing on a daily basis, however what do you do when nobody turns up to fix these problems and what rights do you have to take matters further?

Answer: Firstly, you should detail your complaints in a letter to your landlord and ensure that you keep a copy, and also take photographs of any of the problems. If your landlord fails to respond then you may wish to consult a legal expert who should be willing to write to your landlord on your behalf asking for the repairs to be carried out. In some circumstances you may be able to receive advice which is funded by the Legal Aid Agency.

It is wise to keep a diary of events surrounding your disrepair problems as times, dates, and ‘who said what’ will be important if your landlord continually ignores you or refuses to see to the problems.

Even if your tenancy agreement has now expired you may still be protected by the law, and may be able to take your landlord to court to obtain an order forcing him/her to carry out the works. In some cases tenants can receive compensation.

Your legal expert should aim to try and resolve the issues with your landlord without going to court, however if your landlord does not do what is required by the law then court proceedings could be issued to try and enforce your statutory and tenancy rights.

If you are in doubt then you should contact Paula Suckley at Burd Ward on 0151 639 8273 or email her at ps@burdward.co.uk

Ferrybridge Power Station Fire

At 2pm on Thursday 31 July 2014 the West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service was alerted to a fire a Power Station C of the Ferrybridge Power Station, Knottingly.

At one point 15 fire engines were in attendance at the power station which is a coal powered station. Thick smoke and flames could be seen rising between two silo-like structures which were located near the cooling towers. The black smoke could be seen rising from miles away and local roads and motorways were also affected.

The blaze had resulted in the partial collapse of the tower, believed to be used to remove sulphur dioxide from gases produced at the power station.

What can the smoke cause?

Whilst it was reported that there were no immediate injuries reported, we are interested in hearing from local residents or employees that have sustained injuries, such as the following:

  • Skin problems, including severe itching, eczema and skin rashes
  • Sore, itchy eyes
  • Nose bleeds and headaches
  • Breathing problems, chesty cough or asthma attacks

Can I claim compensation?

If you or someone you know has suffered any of the above symptoms and sought medical attention as a result then we would recommend that you contact us for guidance and support on making a claim.

Please contact Alisha Ward at Burd Ward Solicitors on 0151 639 8273 or at alishaward@burdward.co.uk

Domestic violence to become a criminal offence?

Laura Prysor-Jones David Cameron is considering making domestic violence a specific criminal offence and has acknowledged the justice system needs to be more sympathetic towards victims. This comes at the same time as the Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper criticised police for letting perpetrators of domestic violence off too lightly by using Community Resolution which was never intended to be used in domestic violence situations.

It is pleasing that the Government seems to finally be realising the impact of domestic violence and the need for it to be dealt with firmly by the police. Whilst the police should be contacted if you are suffering as a result of an ex partner, it is important to consider other options that may be available to you. At Burd Ward our family team are specialists in this area and are able to offer you confidential advice and support to help you deal with violence and harassment and protect yourself and your family. Our family practitioners will be able to explain your legal options to you and represent you in Court if you require the protection of a Court Order. If you have suffered recent physical violence it may be possible to go to Court the same day as your appointment to obtain an injunction to protect you from future violence. We will be able to advise you accordingly depending on the circumstances of your situation. We are able to offer legal aid to cover advice and representation in domestic violence proceedings also.

It is important that you do not suffer in silence if you are experiencing harassment or threats from an ex partner.

Burd Ward offers a 24 hour domestic violence hotline where you can receive confidential and sensitive advice on 07531 689 780 or for further information please contact Burd Ward Solicitors on 0151 639 8273 and ask for Laura Prysor-Jones or email on lpj@burdward.co.uk