Case Study 50: Compensation and re-decoration following a leak – Locally Resolved with Intervention

Ms B complained about the landlord’s decision not to pay for new carpets and underlay following a leak in her home, and not to re-plaster and re-decorate the affected areas.

The landlord’s response was that caselaw had established that where an unforeseen leak is the cause of damage to decorations the tenant should make a claim against their contents insurer. It offered to provide Ms B with a £50 decoration voucher or a £50 reduction in any rechargeable repairs.

We explained to the landlord that other caselaw had established that a landlord’s repairing obligation includes ‘making good’ damage to decorations caused by disrepair. It is the decorations that are in place before the works that are to be ‘made good’.

Following our intervention the complaint was locally resolved by the landlord agreeing that it would cover the cost of Ms B employing her own contractor to carry out the work. Ms B was happy with this proposal.

We recommended that the landlord arrange an internal review (separate from Ms B’s complaint) of the caselaw we had highlighted and discussed this with its legal advisers and repairs team. This was intended to help improve performance and to avoid similar complaints in future.