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The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 ("the Act") comes into force on 20 March 2019
19 March 2019

From 20 March 2019, the Act will apply  to new tenancies of rented houses and flats of less than seven years including renewal tenancies and a tenancy that has become a periodic on or after the 20 March 2019.

From 20 March 2019, all social and private sector landlords or their agents must ensure that a property in England is fit for human habitation at the beginning of the tenancy and during the tenancy term. The kind of defects which are likely to cause the property being deemed unfit for human habitation may concern: state of repair; serious dampness, problems with water supply, poor drainage and cooking facilities. 

The provisions also apply to common parts of a building. 

The tenant can sue the landlord if a home is not of an appropriate standard.  If found in breach of its statutory obligations under the Act the landlord maybe ordered to carry out remedial work or pay compensation. 

Comment

Most landlords ensure their properties are safe and secure. They are therefore compliant with the Act so that the consequences of the Act will have no impact on them.  However, when does the landlord's liability arise? Whilst the Act doesn't oblige tenants to serve a notice of defect on the landlord or agent, we would expect the common law position to apply so that the landlords' liability under the Act doesn't bite until he has received notice of the tenant's complaint.  


 

Consistent with our policy when giving comment and advice on a non-specific basis, we cannot assume legal responsibility for the accuracy of any particular statement. In the case of specific problems we recommend that professional advice be sought.

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