What does disrepair mean?

As a housing association, we are obliged to keep your home in a good state of repair.

This involves:

  • finishing repairs that we are aware of and we’re responsible for in reasonable time
  • keeping plumbing, electricity, gas and water supplies in working order
  • maintaining the structure and exterior of your home


What is a housing disrepair claim?

A housing disrepair claim involves customers taking legal action against landlords (like 54North Homes) for failing to repair homes.

We’ve become aware that some claims management companies are approaching 54North Homes customers to take forward a legal claim on their behalf. Sometimes this means that customers can get ‘locked in’ to a legal process, which could put customers at significant personal financial risk. This process can extend repair timescales/inconvenience and sometimes these approaches are fraudulent.

We’re here to help

It’s really important to us that you’re happy with the services we provide for you. We’ll do everything we can do to support you and look after your home.

We don't want you to feel like you have to make a claim against us. If you are unhappy with any part of our repairs service, please contact us.

We also have our own complaints process that you can use.

There’s other support available

Please remember, all reputable law firms are regulated by The Solicitors Regulation Authority.

You can also access free, independent help and advice from other organisations, including:


They’re companies that mostly target those living in social housing homes. They use marketing tactics to encourage you to make a claim for disrepair, saying that they can guarantee customers compensation. This is a false claim and compensation can’t be guaranteed in these cases. Some companies may put pressure on you to make a fraudulent claim because they can gain financially from this. These companies then sell your claim to Solicitors who act as intermediaries between you and your landlord (in this case, us). The Solicitors then represent you and handle the claim on your behalf, at a cost.

Any agreement with these companies can put you at significant financial risk.

Sometimes, they may even pose as surveyors. All our teams carry 54North Homes’ identification badges. Always make sure you ask to see their ID before letting them into your home.

If you’re unsure who someone is, do not let them into your home. If you feel unsafe, please call the police and let us know on XXXXXXXXXXXX.

These companies will usually tell you that they work on a “no win, no fee” basis. We know that some customers have faced thousands of pounds of debt due to signing up to their agreements.

They may also charge a fixed lump sum upfront 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).

When you have put forward a claim and signed documents from a solicitor, they usually will 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 told 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.

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.

During this time, most companies acting on your behalf will tell you not to allow access to us to 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 try to visit your home anyway having given you notice of our visit. If there’s a health and safety risk, we may ask for a court injunction to gain urgent access to do the work.

Defending disrepair cases is an extremely expensive process. Any money we spend on these claims takes away from funding and resources for repairs, planned investment and essential support services. This can have a damaging impact on our neighbourhoods.

We’ll arrange for a surveyor to carry out a survey in your home.

During the survey, they’ll 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 if you have told us about any of the repairs before. This is in line with your tenancy agreement. We’ll defend any dishonest or bogus claims.