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Disrepair claims – protect yourself from bogus callers

Torus is aware that several customers are receiving home visits, calls and leaflets from Disrepair Claim Companies.

These people represent claim handlers or Solicitors. Their aim is to make money, usually up to £500 per referral (whether or not the claim is a genuine disrepair claim). They will tell you that your home needs repair and will encourage you to put in a claim against Torus, to try to get you compensation.

To gain access to your property, they will often say that they are from ‘the housing’ or working on behalf of Torus (Golden Gates Housing Trust / Helena Homes / Liverpool Mutual Homes) or HMS and that they are there to complete a survey on the property.

These people are not working on behalf of Torus or HMS.  Torus or HMS would not cold-call you to carry out a survey, you would have received prior notice, especially in the current pandemic.

The ‘callers’ have been reported to be quite pushy and are asking tenants to sign documents to enter into a legal contract. We suggest that you do not allow these callers into your home or sign anything they ask you to sign.

Following a court case in March 2021, a Torus tenant has been left with a hefty £3,800 bill for court costs, following a failed disrepair claim against Torus.

Torus wants to make you aware of these ‘claim farmers’, how to make a disrepair claim or complaint direct to us and most importantly how you can keep safe and protect yourself from bogus callers.

Be aware of claims companies

Disrepair claim companies use a legal scheme that was introduced to protect tenants from poor landlords.

These companies want to make money from you and your home and you need to know the facts in case they approach you. They will tell you that they have recently won numerous claims against Torus.

These claims can take up to two years to resolve and this is very likely to cause further inconvenience to you, as the Solicitor ‘acting’ on your behalf may advise you not to allow us to carry out any repairs while the claim is on-going.

If you follow their advice to not allow Torus or HMS access to complete repairs you may be in breach of your tenancy agreement.

Once you have initiated a claim and signed the solicitor’s documentation, very rarely will the Solicitor allow you to change your mind and stop the claim. They may advise you that, if you want to stop the claim, you could be liable for:

  • Charges for the survey they have arranged, often up to £1,000
  • Credit agreement charges of over £500 for “no win, no fee” to cover legal cost insurance
  • Court costs if the claim in unsuccessful - with a Torus tenant recently now responsible for £3,800 of court costs.

Please be careful before you commit to any agreements with these companies, as they could put you at financial risk.

Report disrepair claims directly to us

If you feel you have a case of Disrepair in your home, please report to us in the first instance, either using your online account, emailing or by contacting us free on 0800 678 1894.

By doing this, we can look to reach a solution as quickly as possible.


Be aware of bogus callers – carry out identification checks

We are committed to reducing door-step crime, including bogus callers, claim farmers and rogue traders.

You should not let anyone into you home you are not comfortable with especially whilst we are all still social distancing and are all trying to prevent the risk of spreading Covid-19.

To help safeguard against these types of callers, please observe the following tips:

Always ensure you ask to see the ID of unknown visitors to your home - all Torus Group (including HMS) staff will carry photo ID with them.

If someone claiming to be from Torus or HMS comes to your home or calls you up, but you are not sure, please call us free on 0800 678 1894 to check.

If someone contacts you by phone claiming to be from Torus or HMS, but you are not sure, please take their details and call us free on 0800 678 1894 to check.

If you’re dissatisfied with any aspect of our service, please follow our complaints procedure, which you can find more about here

If you need to log a new repair, have any concerns or require further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.