In the last couple of years Government Budgets and Annual Statements have introduced a series of legislation changes and issues that will affect our Landlord customers. We feel that there are several matters that will come into force in the next 12 to 24 months that we need you to be made aware of and this series of short emails are designed to make sure you a fully aware of how the industry and you as property owners will be affected.
The Government have issued guidance to help tenants, landlords and local authorities understand the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, which comes into force on 20 March 2019.
The guidance explains the minimum standards required to let domestic property under the Act. It is designed to ensure that all rented accommodation is fit for human habitation and to strengthen tenants’ means of redress against the minority of landlords who do not fulfil their legal obligations to keep their properties safe.
There are no new obligations for landlords under this Act; the legislation requires landlords to ensure that they are meeting their existing responsibilities with regards to property standards and safety.
Under the Act, the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 is amended to require all landlords (private and social) to ensure that their properties, including any common parts of the building, are fit for human habitation at the beginning of the tenancy and throughout.
The Act applies to the social and private rented sectors and makes it clear that landlords must ensure that their property, including any common parts of the building, is fit for human habitation at the beginning of the tenancy and throughout. To achieve that, landlords will need to make sure that their property is free of hazards which are so serious that the dwelling is not reasonably suitable for occupation in that condition.
Where a landlord fails to do so, the tenant has the right to take action in the courts for breach of contract on the grounds that the property is unfit for human habitation. The remedies available to the tenant are an order by the court requiring the landlord to take action to reduce or remove the hazard, and / or damages to compensate them for having to live in a property which was not fit for human habitation.
The Act will apply to:
We Can Help
Private landlords, like yourself, play an important role in the rental market and it is important that we pay attention to the challenges they sometimes face. If any of the above has got you thinking, or if there were other unrelated questions you might have, then pop into our Charminster office or call us on 01202 565758 and we’d be pleased to help you to let and manage your properties.