The solicitor of a Prestwich tenant is to pay over £20,000 in court costs to Bury Council, after the tenant let their home fall into disrepair to try to make a claim.

The home showed signs of damp in the living room, kitchen and a bedroom. However, rather than report it immediately and work with his landlord to fix the issue, the tenant made a disrepair claim through the solicitor.

When Six Town Housing attempted to gain access to carry out the necessary repairs the tenant refused them entry for over a year, as instructed by their solicitor in an attempt to support the disrepair claim.

The tenant failed to maintain their home themselves during this time, which caused further property damage. Six Town Housing eventually gained access to the tenant’s home but found it cluttered, with the tenant refusing to move items, furniture and belongings to allow them to carry out any necessary repair work.

Six Town Housing were initially asked to pay the tenant £1,200 by the courts, to reimburse several months’ rent. However, when Six Town Housing presented their case for an appeal in court, along with details of their efforts to access the property to make repairs, the tenant decided to waive the court order for them to receive £1,200 to avoid what would be an even more lengthy and costly process. Six Town Housing now hope to access the property to make the necessary repairs.

In October 2020, the courts made an order that the tenant’s solicitor pay the court costs for the case and issued a £20,486 bill to be paid within a month. This is to cover the court costs of Six Town Housing from 6th July 2018 to 29th October 2019.

A spokesperson for Six Town Housing said, “This whole situation could have been avoided entirely if the tenant had approached us in the first instance to identify issues and allowed us access to make repairs, instead of choosing to live in a house in a deteriorating condition. If any of our tenants have concerns with their home’s condition or a health and safety matter, please do contact us straightaway.”

Any necessary repairs required within Six Town Housing tenant’s homes are carried out free of any additional charge and can be reported in a number of ways, including at www.sixtownhousing.org/contact-us

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