Tenants given more rights under the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018

Landlord and Tenant legislation is due a further shake up with the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 coming into force on 20th March 2019. This will see tenants being given more power to sue their landlords over poor conditions in their homes.

The new Act amends the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 to require any property let by a landlord (private or social) to be fit for
human habitation when a tenancy is granted and remaining so for its duration. However, the Act does not make landlords responsible for damage or disrepair caused by the tenants’ behaviour.

If the tenancy has been in existence for less than 7 years and the property is located within England and Wales, then tenants can take landlords to Court if the property doesn’t meet a certain standard.

A property could be considered as unfit for habitation if there are significant problems with the following:

1. Repair;

2. Stability;

3. Freedom from damp;

4. Internal arrangement;

5. Natural lighting;

6. Ventilation;

7. Water supply;

8. Drainage and sanitary conveniences;

9. Facilities for the preparation and cooking of food and for the disposal of waste water.

Should the Landlord fail to carry out the remedial work in respect of any of the above when the Act comes into force, then the
tenant will be perfectly within his/her rights to start Court proceedings for an Order forcing the Landlord to carry out these works and also pay damages for the poor conditions.

The introduction of Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 will help to enforce best practice for landlords and agents, whilst serving as a deterrent for bad behaviour, and promote best practice for landlords and agents.

Current guidelines given by Landlord Associations advise that an issue should be resolved within 24 hours where practically
possible if there is a significant risk of danger to the health and safety of a tenant. However, landlords are generally given three working days to rectify the problem and up to 28 days for matters deemed as being less urgent repairs.

If you are unsure as to how the new Act will affect you, then we recommend that you seek legal advice from our experienced Dispute Resolution Solicitors.

Please contact us on 01202 525333 to discuss your matter and how we may be able to help.

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