Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act passes into law

The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act, introduced by Karen Buck MP received Royal Assent on 18th December 2018.

All social and private sector landlords or agents acting on their behalf will be required to ensure that a property is fit for human habitation at the beginning of the tenancy and throughout the duration of the tenancy.

Following the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower, the Act also includes a clause which extends its provision to cover common areas of a building.

If a home isn’t up to the standard of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS), tenants will have the right to take legal action in the courts for breach of contract.

Landlords and agents will not be liable where ‘unfitness’ has been caused by the action of tenants.

David Cox, Chief Executive ARLA Propertymark said

“We’re pleased the Bill has now received Royal Assent after a swift passage through Parliament. These new rules will give renters greater protection against criminal operators and it is a step in the right direction for the market.

“We congratulate Karen Buck MP on her work and we look forward to continuing to work with her to achieve better enforcement against those who bring the sector into disrepute.”

The Act, which amends the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 and the Building Act 1984, comes into force shortly and will affect new and renewed tenancies, fixed-term tenancies in England. New and renewed periodic and secure tenancies will be brought under the scope 12 months’ time.  I suspect Wales and Scotland will not be far behind.

 

Julie

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