Fitness for human habitation – does your property meet the requirements?

The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 has been enacted and provides greater protection for tenants in rented accommodation.

The Act introduces implied terms (these are terms that will apply automatically and need not be expressly set out or agreed) into Tenancy Agreements that a Landlord must ensure that a dwelling is fit for habitation at the commencement of the tenancy and that it is maintained throughout the tenancy.

The change is significant as previously Tenants could only take action against their Landlord for disrepair, Tenants rights are extended in relation to the design and condition of the property that do not necessarily constitute ‘disrepair’ but present a health and safety risk to the occupiers such as condensation related mould, a lack of heating and fire safety issues.

This will mean that Tenants no longer have to rely on the Local Authority to take action.

The new regulations will apply to all tenancies on and after 20 March 2019 that are less than 7 years long, including periodic tenancy and replacement tenancies.  For any tenancies that started before this date, the term will be implied once they become periodic or a replacement tenancy is entered into.  Any periodic tenancies that exist as of 20 March 2019 will become subject to the implied terms on 20 March 2020.

All Landlords therefore should review their properties and re-consider any complaints from Tenants to see if works will be required.

Should you have any queries in relation to the changes or generally in relation to any Landlord and Tenant matters do not hesitate to contact the team at Paul Robinson Solicitors LLP.

Would you like to attend Paul Robinson Solicitors Landlord Seminar on 15thMarch, 4-5pm at our New Bank Office, Westcliff? Email npavelin@paulrobinson.co.uk to find out more or to add your name to the list.