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Disrepair claims

If we don’t meet our obligations to keep your home in good repair (including making repairs in reasonable time and keeping essential utilities in working order), your home could be said to be in disrepair.

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

If you’re unhappy with any part of our repairs service, please get in touch by:

Completing our online form

Emailing us at customerservices@berneslaihomes.co.uk

Phoning us on 01226 787878

Claims management companies

Claims management companies may approach you about making a claim against us for disrepair.

These companies are not what they seem, they may not give you all the information you need before you agree to work with them. They could put you at serious financial risk.

Claims management companies target tenants, particularly tenants of social housing landlords, with marketing tactics to encourage you to make a claim for disrepair. They then sell your claim to solicitors who act as intermediaries between you and your landlord (in this case, us), and represent you and handle the claim on your behalf, for a cost.

Sometimes, they may even pose as surveyors and say they’re from Berneslai Homes or Barnsley Council. All of our teams carry Berneslai Homes identification badges, so make sure you ask to see their ID before letting them into your home.

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

Be aware of risks

Hidden costs

These companies will usually tell you that they operate on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis but there are lots of examples where customers have faced thousands of pounds of debt as a result of signing up to their agreements.

They usually also charge a fixed lump sum up front 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).

Fees if you change your mind

When you’ve put forward a claim and signed documentation from a solicitor, they will usually 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 advised 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.

It takes a long time to resolve

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.

You could be in breach of your tenancy agreement

During this time, most companies acting on your behalf will advise 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 attempt to visit your home anyway, having given you notice of our visit. If there’s a health and safety risk, we may request a court injunction to gain urgent access to do the work.

It affects other services we provide

Defending disrepair cases is extremely expensive for us. Any money we spend on these claims takes away from funding and resources for repairs, planned investment, and essential support services.

If you make a claim

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

During the survey, they will 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 whether you’ve reported any of the repairs to us before, in line with your tenancy agreement. We’ll rigorously defend any dishonest or bogus claims.

Other support

We encourage you to contact us to talk about any problems or concerns.

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

Registered address:

10th floor, Gateway Plaza, off Sackville St, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S70 2RD

Berneslai Homes Limited is a company controlled by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council. A company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales, number 4548803