How Antony Hodari Solicitors will welcome 'normality' with open arms.

It's no secret that the last year has been a testing one for many of us. As businesses have fought to keep their heads above water, people have lost loved ones, and the lives of many others have been tipped upside down. At Antony Hodari solicitors, we welcome back whatever 'normality' we are about to feel with open arms. 

You've probably noticed that we are tentative to use the term 'normal' in any manner. This is mainly due to the uncertainty of how long the positivity will stay around. But also, there's a sprinkle of being generally pessimistic as we know things won't be precisely what we remember any time soon. 

For us as a solicitors

It's been a strange period for us too. As a solicitors, our work revolves around doing all we can to prevent the vulnerable from living in conditions that can negatively affect their health. Therefore, we have worked pretty much throughout lockdown; housing disrepair is not something that can be overlooked, and allowing people to struggle in silence is not part of our remit! 

We are steadily attempting to keep moving forwards with our work and growing as a business whilst we go. We understand first-hand how difficult it can be for tenants to find the necessary help, which is why we always stress that we are here, no matter morning, noon or night!

Life in Manchester

As you may know, we are a solicitors firm based in Manchester, we love our home, and we are not afraid to shout about it. As of late, feeling the life within the city streets and slowly returning to our office, hs been, in short, pretty great! It's strange how you miss the little things when they are taken away, isn't it! 

Solicitors - our work in the UK

Despite calling Manchester home, we operate as a housing disrepair specialist solicitor across the UK. In actual fact, only a minority of the work we do is inside the city walls; therefore, no matter where you are, we are available to help. 

You don't need us to tell you how good we are. Head across to our reviews platform and hear what our customers have to say.

https://www.reviews.co.uk/company-reviews/store/www-antonyhodari-co-uk

What's to come in 2021

Well, 2021 is an interesting one for us as a disrepair solicitor. This is due to the fact we have shown exponential growth throughout the opening third of the year. Behind the scenes, at our Manchester HQ, we have been fine-tuning how we deal with each of our client's claims. Therefore we are now able to say we offer a smoother and more efficient process than ever before. So, if you know anyone who may need our help, don't allow them to suffer in silence. There's no charge for getting in touch with us, and we operate on a solely no-win-no-fee basis. So...what are you waiting for?

https://www.antonyhodari.co.uk

The number of building surveyors employed by the council has tumbled in the last decade.

After Inside Housing conducted a study on the number of building surveyors working within councils up and down the country. They found that in 2010 the number was 707 employees; however, that number was just 513 at the end of 2020.

Why is this important?

Nationally we are in the midst of a safety crisis when it comes to building regulations, and therefore now, more than ever, we need those safety specialists.

In the past decade, the Grenfell disaster opened our eyes to the glaring problems in the sector. When John Hoban, the man behind signing off on Grenfell Tower, cited staff reduction as one of the reasons behind the failure. Councils should have stood up and listened.

The remains of Grenfell Tower, following the disaster which caused over 70 deaths in June 2017.

How could the problem affect you?

One of the worst examples of reduced numbers in staff happens to be right on our doorstep. In the last decade, Trafford Council has dropped from TEN surveyors to only TWO.  

Across the country, over a third of the councils have cut their workforce by a third in total. Meaning that the surveyors left working within our local councils have a startlingly increased workload. Increased workloads mean less time and effort is being attributed to important jobs; this is when failures happen. 

In this sector, failures cost lives.

The reasons behind the decline in numbers.

The reason behind the drop in building surveyors is indeed a much larger issue. Most councils blamed national austerity, which has, of course, affected all sectors of local councils. A government requirement back in 2010 asked for building control services to become 'cost neutral' and that they certainly have. 

Other councils have pointed to the fact that large amounts of building safety surveyors have indeed retired. The other most popular reason is that the wages they can allocate simply can't compete with the private sector.

This is no minor issue. Grenfell was a horrific example of how human failings can lead to the loss of life. These figures are startling and certainly don't lead to a restored faith in local authorities.

Proving Housing Disrepair

Proving housing disrepair can often be more difficult than initially meets the eye.

As a tenant you have the legal right to live in a home which means certain legislative standards. Ultimately your landlord is responsible for the dwelling in which you live and it's condition of upkeep. When it comes to proving housing disrepair on behalf of tenants we have been a sector expert for over 35 years. Therefore, you're in incredibly safe hands with us.

disrepair, housing disrepair claims, cracked house
The cracked exterior of a house, which could lead to internal housing disrepair issues.

Notice is the main stumbling block!

When it comes to proving housing disrepair. It's absolutely pivotal that you can prove that your landlord has neglected to maintain your home. However, saying they have failed and contacting us without giving the opportunity to rectify the problems can be a major downfall in your case.

Sufficient notice!

The defect must have been brought to your landlords attention, as it's unreasonable to expect them to make changes to something they are unaware of. After receiving a notice of disrepair which falls into the responsibility of the landlord. The landlord becomes liable for the damages. If they fall to make the necessary repairs you'll have a good claim. If you don't have the notice, the landlord may make the repairs, but it's unlikely you'll receive compensation.

Recording your correspondence.

It's often the case that we are contacted by clients who have little to no recollection of when they reported the disrepair. If there is also no specific date provided in the information we receive from the landlord, proving sufficient notice is almost impossible.

Therefore, when reporting the housing disrepair, we would suggest sending an email. That way you have a solid trail of correspondence between the landlord and yourself.

How vital is notice?

A housing disrepair claim can not be successful if the tenant can't prove they have give notice to the landlord.

Mould, mouldy walls, housing disrepair, housing disrepair issues
Mould inside of your home can lead to health problems and is a housing disrepair issue.

What about damages?

The damages you receive are calculated based on the date that a reasonable landlord would have completed the repairs.

Conclusion...

In conclusion, when it comes to housing disrepair claims, it's pivotal that you keep record of the conversations with your landlord. Sending emails and saving them will really benefit your claim. We hope you never need our advice, but you'll thank us one day if you do!

If the information above has helped you to understand how you may have a housing disrepair claim. Don't be scared to contact us. You could be owed thousands of pounds and not even know it. Contact Antony Hodari Solicitors today and we will do the hard work on your housing disrepair claim.

Find us here - https://www.antonyhodari.co.uk/contact/

Tenancy Deposit FAQ's

Tenancy Deposit FAQ's

We know that Tenancy Deposit Claims are in their infancy at the moment. Due to being relatively unknown we often receive several questions from potential clients, concerning tenancy deposit claims. In this blog, we wanted to address all those questions which may be stopping you from claiming. Have a read, learn all there is to know about tenancy deposit claims and contact us today.

Signing tenancy deposit claim paperwork. Signing tenancy agreement with landlord.

How do I know if I have a claim?

Well, this is quite simple. If your deposit was not placed in one of the protected schemes by your landlord, you have a claim. There are only three protected tenancy deposit schemes. If you landlord did put your deposit in one of them but did it after 30 days. You still have a claim!

How does the process work?

Firstly we will ask for a copy of your tenancy agreement and all other supporting paperwork. Once we have checked the paperwork we will investigate to see if your deposit was protected. If it wasn't we will further information to allow us to process your claim.

What are the three schemes and how do you check if your deposit was protected?

Well, we can check for you once we receive a copy of your tenancy agreement. Alternatively, if you would like to check yourself if you have a tenancy deposit claim. You simply input your information into one of the following.

Tenancy Deposit Scheme- https://www.thedisputeservice.co.uk/is-my-deposit-protected.html

Deposit Protection Service - https://myaccount.depositprotection.com/#tenancy/checkDepositStatus

My Deposits - https://www.mydeposits.co.uk/tenants/deposit-checker/

My landlord said my deposit was protected?

If your deposit was protected you would know about it. 

You would have received certification from one of the three schemes mentioned above. If you didn't receive this it is likely that your deposit wasn't protected. In which case, you have a tenancy deposit claim.

I have the certification.

If you have the certification, that means your landlord has protected your deposit. However, it is still worthwhile checking when it was protected. If 30 days had elapsed you still have a tenancy deposit claim.

How much is my tenancy deposit claim worth?

The tenancy deposit claim is worth between 1-3x your deposit per breach. If your landlord continued to breach the policy across a number of years the figure would be 1-3x the total amount.

What if I'm living in the property?

You are within your rights to bring a claim against your landlord whilst living in the property. However, we understand that clients often want to avoid confrontation. So if you are looking to bring the tenancy deposit claim once you've vacated the property, we would advise filing with us today. We can keep your information on file and you can bring a tenancy deposit claim up to 6 years' after the deposit.

I have moved on...

If you have vacated the property, all you need is a copy of the tenancy agreement.

I started my agreement for more than 6 years ago.

If your deposit was more than six years ago, you are unable to claim for that specific deposit. However, if you have started a new contract in that time, or your contract is a rolling contract. You can bring a claim against your landlord.

What if I'm in arrears?

 If you're in rent arrears, we would discuss the valuation of your claim less the arrears. If your arrears outweigh the value of your claim you would not meet our official criteria to proceed with the claim.

What if I have left my agreement early?

This is a tricky one, however, if you mutually vacated the agreement with your landlord, we will be able to pursue a claim for you. On the other hand, if you left your agreement and have outstanding arrears, we would not advise pursuing.

How much do you charge?

To run a check on your deposit absolutely nothing. However, should you want to proceed and benefit from our legal expertise. We operate on a percentage of the success fee. Therefore if there is no win, there is no fee to you. 

If the information above has helped you to understand tenancy deposit claims, don't be scared to contact us. You could be owed thousands of pounds and not even know it. Contact Antony Hodari Solicitors today and we will do the hard work on your tenancy deposit claim.

Find us here - https://www.antonyhodari.co.uk/contact/

Being a business in Manchester in 2020

Being a business in Manchester in 2020.

Well, it goes without saying that 2020 was a year that most of us would love to forget, yet few of us will. Whilst life was strange and being situated in the city centre even stranger. We wanted to take some time to reflect on twenty-twenty. The toughest part is finding a place to start. Because although January seems totally logical, it isn't. It lured us into a false sense of security. Provided us with an optimism that we will probably ever harbour again, as these days...we just don't know. 

As a business in Manchester, I suppose we can count our blessings a little as we've survived a period of what is best described as 'the unknown' and helped people in need along the way. We suppose we were a little blessed as we could continue to help out throughout the lockdown. It isn't fair that housing disrepair should dampen people's entire lives. Last year reiterated this. Some sat alone but help did not come. Yet nothing came, they sat and suffered in silence. As a company that isn't something we are willing to allow, and we will continue seeking those in need in 2021. 

Being a Manchester-based solicitor is something we've always been very proud of. Manchester as a city has an unfathomable amount of vigour and strength, and we are honoured to call it our home. Seeing our beloved streets empty, did, of course, fill us a with just a little upset. But, if there's one thing we know about Manchester, this city will rise again. Personally, we can't wait to see it.

Business in Manchester, Night shot of Manchester. Manchester Library.
Night shot of Manchester

The lessons - of being a business in Manchester

We suppose that despite the chaos that ensued last year we will always remain positive. And, overall, we managed to help lots of struggling individuals which of course sweetens the deal. Positivity will always be the key moving forwards, we've seen great uncertainty and we are positive for it. We've learnt that as a company we can grow and integrate all of our skills without being sat facing each other in our Manchester-based office. As a team, we are stronger, even if that does involve the odd awkward Microsft Teams meeting. Which is often invading by a rogue pet or wandering loved one. 

We've learnt that as a business we are great at what we do. That is in no part from our inflated egos but from having collected over 250 5-star reviews during the lockdown. We remain incredibly thankful for your support and we hope you continue to believe in and recommend us this year. 

Our final lesson would be that we have truly learnt the meaning of appreciation. We've had time to appreciate the world around us and how it moves. Or stands still depending on how you view the last year. We appreciate our family more because we've been forced to sit down and actually talk to one another. Mostly, we appreciate our health because if twenty-twenty has highlighted anything its that we y don't know what's around the corner.

Thank you all.

Tenancy Deposit Claims - Getting in the know!

When it comes to knowing your rights as a tenant, it can be an incredibly complicated process. You could be bring a tenancy deposit claim and not know it. However, if you have an expert team of solicitors working on your behalf, understanding where you stand has never been easier. 

The truth is, most of us don't actually know whether we are owed money by our landlords. This is strange when you think that the amount of compensation owed could quite easily be in the thousands! Yes, thousands! So where do you start when it comes to a tenancy deposit claim?

Well, Firstly, you need to know whether your landlord has protected your deposit adequately according to the law.

So here are the questions you need to ask.

  1. Was my deposit protected within 30 days of me paying it? If it wasn't this amounts to a late protected deposit. Legally, the landlord is in the wrong, and therefore, the tenant has a case.
  2. Has your landlord wrongly deducted your tenancy deposit once it was returned? If so, you can bring a claim against your landlord as they are legally required to return your tenancy deposit in full. This is unless you have voided any of the terms of your tenancy. Landlords may look to take money from your deposit if you have broken any of the inventory. This usually includes items, such as mugs, glasses, vases etc. If you owe rent currently, or if you have damaged the property in any way. We would advise taking photos to show exactly how you left the property to protect you legally.
  3. Has your landlord refused or been unable to return your deposit? As mentioned above, there are some circumstantial reasons that a landlord may look to reduce the amount of money you owed. However, if your landlord refuses to pay your tenancy deposit you should challenge the reasons for doing so and ask for them to be given in full. 

Issues often arise when a landlord withholds a tenant’s deposit due to general wear and tear. This happens over time as it would be expected too. For example, when a carpet has worn out due to it being walked on. Any damage caused by repairs which should have been made by the landlord or have been made negligently are also not the fault of the tenant.

When it comes to a tenancy deposit claim, we would advise keeping all correspondence between yourself and your landlord. This highlights that you have taken the necessary steps for resolution. 

Tenancy deposit claims

When your deposit doesn't need to be protected

If you are a lodger or you are living as a student in halls, unfortunately in both of these cases, your tenancy deposit does not need to be protected. 

However, if it does need to be protected and it hasn't been you could be owed between 1-3 times your original deposit.

To learn more, visit the link below.

Tenancy Deposits Claims

Fire safety issues - Students left unaware by Notting Hill Genesis.

As the Paragon estate building complex, containing 1059 homes, were asked to evacuate last week with immediate effect. The spotlight turns on the owner, Notting Hill Genesis. As they have allegedly known about the fire-safety issues since at least December 2017.

Students are currently occupying most of the dwellings. The majority of which moved in at the start of the academic year. Notting Hill genesis announced that following recent findings. The risk is so significant that the housing association can no longer guarantee the safety of the 858 residents living there.

Those who have looked into the issue are more concerned. As the cladding on two-thirds of the buildings are non-combustible terracotta panelling. Meaning there are deeper issues. But what are they?

Speak the truth.

The debate begins between the housing association and tenants, regarding the distribution of adequate fire safety instruction. However, considering the Grenfell disaster, the housing association have a lot of questions to answer as they keep their cards close to their chest.

Covid-19 and rehousing issue due to breaking of fire safety protocol.

The current situation is made much worse by the presence of the coronavirus.

As some students remain in coronavirus isolation, moving accommodation is not feasible. For those who are attending university, the move is sitting uncomfortably. As the new accommodation provided is much further away from the university itself. Students stated that the new housing will indeed harm their education and ability to travel to and from the university.

Getty Images

The time is now for housing associations to open up their files and embrace the opportunity for transparency. . Notting Hill Genesis has the chance to do something for the greater good. We, for one, would endorse that move.

For more information regarding housing disrepair follow the link below.

Manchester Based Solicitors

Being based in the city centre is something of which we are incredibly proud. Manchester is booming right now and where better to call home? The growth of the city has allowed our staff to value first-hand the amenities that are just a stone's throw from our offices. And, offered Antony Hodari as a business the opportunity to be a part of something pretty special. Seeing the development of the 'dirty northern city.' Being a Manchester based solicitors is pretty great.

Manchester Skyline at Sunrise

Antony Hodari specialises in helping those who feel like they have nowhere else to turn. Therefore, as a firm of solicitors, also support and champion the tenant, when their landlord has wronged him or her. And with over 35 years of experience, it's safe to say we're pretty good at it!

Whether a dispute occurs between a tenant and their private landlord, or indeed between a tenant and housing association or local council. We are here to help. Luckily for us, Manchester offers the perfect base to help not only the local community but also the whole of the UK.

Solicitors In Manchester

Within Manchester, we have seen first hand the impoverished conditions which people can be forced to live in. These conditions are often no fault of their own. We have witnessed the struggle first-hand and know that it simply can't be allowed to happen. If you are a tenant and don't understand your legal rights, or struggle financially you don't need to worry, . Which is why we are always here to help provide the information needed and the support along the way. At Antony Hodari solicitors, we work on a strictly no-win-no-fee basis meaning that our costs are covered by the landlord, housing association or council.

Manchester, St Peters Square

Nationwide

It isn't a problem if you live outside of Manchester as we operate on a national basis. As one of the most established housing disrepair solicitors in the country. We value each and every potential client of ours, no matter where the location geographically. Our off-site team who are on the road, up and down the country can provide a slice of that famous Antony Hodari service, to anyone who needs our help, today!

Simply reach out to us, and we will do the rest!

Have a great day.

Antony Hodari Solicitors.

Housing disrepair - Living with Damp for over FIFTEEN years

Residents on the popular St Martin's estate in Tulles Hill were waiting over a year for their landlords to take action against damp problems. Meaning that they were living in a state of housing disrepair for an unprecedented amount of time.

In a recent article by www.londonnewsonline.co.uk. Reports that over fifty tenants were waiting for repairs having complained multiple times about serious mould problems. The mould was causing ill-health amongst the residents and had been a problem for some for over sixteen years. The housing disrepair, had been allowed to go on for too long. Therefore, if it was resolved earlier, it would have saved some years of emotional and physical stress.

What the tenants said.

Gary Downey, a tenant who had been suffering for over fifteen years. Has said, 'Every complaint feels like a battle - there is usually no response... it's the same old story. You need to, open your windows, don't dry clothes indoors, etc.' He continued, 'I did all of this, and I still have damp. There must come a time when the landlords admit they must do something permanent to help us.'

If you want to read more follow the link ....

https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/its-depressing-living-in-damp-claims-tulse-hill-estate-resident/

There is simply no excuse for negligence from landlords. At Antony Hodari solicitors, we always fight for the tenant. If you have suffered from housing disrepair, give us a call, and we will do the rest. We have over 35 years experience and have dealt with claims for over 100,000 clients, claiming back over £100 Million. If you don't want to take our word for it. Our 5-star review highlight the opinion of our clients.

Living with damp and simply putting up with it shouldn't be a choice any tenant has to make. If you have made your feelings heard and your landlord has refused to help. We are the housing disrepair solicitors for you.

Living conditions - The pandemic highlights the generational divide.

The Resolution Foundation found that those who are living in the worst conditions are actually the 16-24-year-old bracket. As the lockdown enforced little to no movement amongst the general populous, it was those who fell into the younger age brackets which were said to have put up with the worst living conditions.

The research found that those in the youngest bracket were three times more likely to live in damp conditions and one-and-a-half times more likely to have no garden. As the local lockdowns continue to be enforced across Britain, it is becoming more evident that the housing conditions, in general, are far from satisfactory.

Findings

The study also found that those in the younger bracket had on average 26metres of space in which to live in comparison with the over 65's bracket, which had 50 metres on average.

When also digging deeper into the study, which was funded by the Nuffield Foundation. It highlights that ethnicity and income were commonly linked with poor living conditions. With 20% of children from a low-income home having spent time in an overcrowded space during the lockdown. Whereas, this figure is only 3% in the higher-income homes. 10% of those low-income home children were also found to be living in a state of housing disrepair. This was primarily due to damp conditions. 6% having no access to the internet.

Nearly 40% of under-16s from black, Asian or ethnic-minority background households are growing up with no outside space. Whereas, this figure is only 17% in white homes.

The most shocking fact is that despite the improvement in housing standards across the past decades. Overcrowding has increased across all age groups. With young adults and children being by far the most likely to live in a crowded home. 

Needing help with your living conditions?

If you feel your house is in a state of disrepair, contact us today. Whether you rent from a private landlord, housing association or council. We will be able to help you with your housing disrepair claims.