How to prevent and deal effectively with disrepair claims. Find out about the legal issues and the latest best practice.
There has been an exponential rise in disrepair claims over the last 4 years due to a variety of contributing factors, including:
- The introduction of the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, changes to personal injury claims and PPI and the removal of legal aid for disrepair cases
- A lack of investment in existing homes, a lack of understanding of the root causes (eg, damp and mould), ineffective responses to resident complaints resulting in residents reaching out to alternative parties to get issues resolved.
Landlord responsibilities for keeping homes in good condition and meeting statutory repairing obligations are clear. But how well are you protected against disrepair claims? How confident are you, that:
- Your homes are in good condition?
- You are complying with your obligations?
- Your complaints process is effective?
HQN is here to help. Chaired by Debbie Larner, lead associate for HQN’s Asset Management network and Safety net, this workshop will provide delegates with the practical and legal advice they need.
We have teamed up with:
- Expert speakers – tech (Switchee) and legal specialists (Cornerstone with Trowers and Hamlins LLP).
The sessions include:
- How to stay on top of property conditions
- How to effectively manage disrepair internally – good practice
- Case management
- Risk reporting
- Getting your complaints processes right
- Defending disrepair claims – the legal position
- Landlords’ obligations
- Defences to disrepair claims
Delegates will go away:
- With the practical tools they need to prevent disrepair claims
- Knowing about the latest good practice and processes for managing disrepair claims
- Understanding the principles of effective complaint management
- Understanding the law around disrepair
- Knowing how to effectively mitigate claims.
- Asset directors and managers
- Strategy and policy leads
- health and safety managers
- in-house legal teams
- Operational teams – housing, repairs and maintenance, customer services.
Debbie Larner, Lead Associate Asset Management Network, HQN
Debbie is the lead associate for HQN’s Health and Safety and Asset Management networks. She has been working in social housing for over 30 years – most of which was spent at CIH as Head of Practice. Debbie has led the sector’s work on professional standards and has also been focusing on building/fire safety since the Grenfell Tower disaster. She was a key member of the Industry Steering Group focusing on the role and the competency of the Building Safety Manager. For HQN, Debbie has been focusing on building safety and disrepair as part of her lead associate role – hosting workshops on a range of topical issues, including health and safety compliance.
Rebecca Reed, Head of Insight and Development, Housing Ombudsman Service
Rebecca Reed is the Head of Insight and Development at the Housing Ombudsman Service. She joined the Service in November 2020 having worked for over 15 years for the Independent Office for Police Conduct, driving improvements in the police complaints system through data analysis, thematic investigations and critical interventions. At the Housing Ombudsman, she heads up the function that drives improvements in the housing complaints system using similar mechanisms and our Complaints Handling Code. The function also provides insight into service provision from themes and trends in complaints to facilitate sector learning and a positive complaints culture for landlords and governance.
Dorota Pawlowski, Managing Associate, Trowers and Hamlins LLP
Dorota has over 20 years’ experience in the residential property sector having started her housing career at Birmingham County Council.
Specialising in all aspects of issues that may face a residential landlord, Dorota advises registered providers on all aspects of housing management issues but has developed a particular expertise in relation to disrepair claims and increasingly, claims for unfitness for human habitation. Dorota leads a team of solicitors and paralegals who deal with a large volume of disrepair cases and fights hard to defend cases or settle them for as low a sum as possible. She regularly represents clients in the County Courts in applications for injunctions and possessions. She has advised extensively on the drafting of tenancy agreements and has reviewed registered providers’ policies and procedures.
Dorota also speaks and trains regularly on all aspects of housing management issues both internally and externally such as at CIH events. She has trained extensively in relation to all issues concerning disrepair. She is a Committee member of the Social Housing Law Association and was instrumental in reforming the Midlands regional branch of this organisation which she now jointly chairs.
Phil Pemberton, Director of Assets, Riverside Group
Phil Pemberton is Director of Assets for The Riverside Group. He has over 40 years knowledge and experience in Asset Management having operated at senior level in both the public and private sector delivering holistic asset management and integrated housing services. Phil has a passion for innovation, transformation and change and has led on many projects implementing new technology, developing services and improving efficiency and effectiveness. Phil is a committee member of the NHMF, and Direct Works where in both roles he plays a leading role in supporting collaboration, and the sharing of best practise with partners and suppliers from many different sectors. Phil is also an experienced non-executive.
Nick Sarac, Head of Customer Success, Switchee
Nick leads the Customer Success team at Switchee, making sure customers get the best out of the Switchee communications, insight and analytics platform and that residents feel the benefits of a Switchee partnership with their provider. Nick represents customers on the Switchee leadership team and on our Product Board. Nick is an experienced Head of Customer Success with a proven track record in building and optimising operations to maximise mutual value creation. Before Switchee he helped scale an early-stage FinTech start-up to a team of 400 in 3 countries.
Rebecca Brad, Chartered Legal Executive, Housing Management and Property Litigation, Devonshires
Rebecca advises and accepts instructions from Local Authorities and Registered Providers on all aspects of housing and tenancy management, including possession claims and injunction applications based on a wide range of issues such as Anti-Social Behaviour, tenancy fraud, sub-letting, rent arrears, access issues and other breaches of tenancy. Rebecca also advises on disrepair, service charge disputes and general property litigation in both the County Court and the First-tier Property Tribunal.
Daniel Miller, Head of Assets and Repairs, Eastlight Community Homes
Cancellations and substitutions
Cancellations and substitutions:
If you are unable to attend an event or public training course, please let us know in writing (email is fine) at least 48 hours before. Please email [email protected]
Otherwise, a cancellation fee of £60 plus VAT will be chargeable.
If you are using a package place to attend and do not inform us within the agreed time frame, then a place will be taken to cover your non-attendance.
Cancellations must be made in writing, and will be acknowledged by HQN Limited.