Mansfield council tenants claim more than £30,000 in compensation and legal fees

Up to 1,000 new council houses should be provided by 2021.
Up to 1,000 new council houses should be provided by 2021.

Mansfield District Council has paid out more than £30,000 in compensation and legal fees to tenants unhappy with the state of their council houses, it has been revealed.

A Freedom of Information request has revealed the council has paid out £31,096 over the last five financial years – with legal fees making up about £23,300 of this figure.

A total of 32 claims were brought against the council by tenants, of which 10 were settled.

The authority owns 6,480 properties and said the majority of its tenants have not encountered any problems with living standards.

Maintenance work is carried out by in in-house team.

Paul Barker, council landlord services manager, said: “We pride ourselves in trying to provide people with good living conditions and have invested several million pounds in property upgrades over the past 11 years in order to meet end excel the decent homes standard.”

Mr Barker said there are rare occasions when a tenant’s property does not meet with expectations, but the council will address any issues as soon as possible.

He said: “Sometimes a tenant may feel the repair does not meet with our repairing obligation and they will make a disrepair claim against the council.

“This does not necessarily mean the council has failed and we will still work to resolve the issue.

“We have received 32 such claims over the past five years, only 10 of which have fallen within the disrepair claim criteria, at a cost of £31,100.

“It is worth noting, however, that the majority of our tenants enjoy good living condition, which results in high levels of tenant satisfaction.

“That said, if something isn’t right with someone’s property, we will do our best to fix the problem as soon as possible.”

Local authorities across England have paid out 
£35 million in compensation and legal fees in the last five years to tenants living in homes in a state of disrepair.

n Heating upgrade – See Page 24.