Judgment obtained in landlord and tenant bed bug claim

Acting on a no-win-no-fee basis, Curzon Green Solicitors successfully obtained judgment for their client in a personal injury claim relating to a bed bug infestation. The client was a university student who began to suffer from bed bug bites shortly after moving into private rental accommodation. The landlord failed to treat the infestation or provide alternative accommodation, as a result of which our client was forced to terminate the tenancy early, leave the property, and seek emergency alternative accommodation. The landlord pursued our client for unpaid rent for the remainder of the term. Curzon Green were instructed to resist the landlord’s claim and to make a personal injury claim on behalf of the tenant. The landlord denied liability for the infestation all the way up until trial and sought to assert that the tenant was the source of the infestation.

Curzon Green obtained evidence from a pest control specialist which, along with the client’s witness evidence, demonstrated to the Court that the infestation must have pre-dated our client’s arrival at the property. In a clear and unequivocal judgment, the judge ruled in favour of our client on all counts and dismissed the landlord’s counterclaim for unpaid rent. The claimant was awarded damages in excess of £5,000, plus an uplift of 10% and additional interest due to beating a strategic part 36 offer made earlier in the proceedings. The landlord has also been ordered to pay our client’s costs of the proceedings. The case provides rare judicial authority for the quantum of general damages in claims involving bed bug bites.

Following the judgment, the landlord sought to appeal part of the decision relating to the Claimant’s deposit. The landlord’s application was dismissed at a further hearing in December, with the appeal judge confirming that the Claimant was entitled to recover the entirety of the deposit. Our client was awarded the costs of the appeal hearing in full.

Chung v Malle G69YX880 – Judgment – 56874 – 12 Jul 2021