‘Fitness for Human Habitation’-are you ready?

Landlords news  

February 3, 2020 | Alison Eastwood

From the 20th March 2020 the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 will apply to existing tenancies in England, not just those tenants who signed contracts on or after the 20th March 2019. The Act gives tenants the power to take their landlord to court if their home is not Fit for Human Habitation both at the start of the tenancy and throughout the whole length of the tenancy until it ends. Courts can decide that a property is unfit for Human Habitation if there is an issue with the property which is serious enough to make the property unfit to live in.

The courts will decide whether a property is fit for human habitation by considering section 10 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. These are whether:

• the building has been neglected and is in a bad condition
• the building is unstable
• there’s a serious problem with damp
• it has an unsafe layout
• there’s not enough natural light
• there’s not enough ventilation
• there is a problem with the supply of hot and cold water
• there are problems with the drainage or the lavatories
• it’s difficult to prepare and cook food or wash up
• or any of the 29 hazards set out in the Housing Health and Safety (England) Regulations 2005

If the courts find that a property is not fit for human habitation, then they may require one or both of the following:
• compulsory improvement to the condition of the property
• compensation to the tenant

Read the Government’s online guide for Landlords about the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 208 HERE

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