Do You Comply With Homes (Fitness For Human Habitation) Act?
With the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act now in force, it is essential landlords are aware of these regulations. There has been a lot of focus on the fact that tenants can now sue landlords, which will be concerning for many landlords. However, the majority of landlords will be okay, but there is no harm in familiarising yourself with the Act and ensuring you provide a high-quality service to tenants.
The Act came into force on the 20th of March 2019. The main point of the Act is to prevent tenants from living in unsanitary or unsafe conditions. Issues that landlords need to be aware of include blocked drains, poor ventilation, dampness and issues that impact on tenant’s lives.
There is industry backing for the new Act
The Act leads on from the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, covering tenancies which are less than seven years. In recent times, the Government has clamped down on rogue landlords and looked to provide tenants with more significant support and backing. While there are concerns that some ‘rogue’ tenants may cause problems for landlords over trivial matters, many in the industry accept that this Act is necessary.
The National Landlords Association welcomed the Act and released a statement, saying; “Most landlords should have nothing to worry about in respect of the new Act. A reasonably maintained property should not be deemed unfit. Only landlords of properties suffering serious disrepair issues should be affected, and these should be resolved irrespective of new legislation. Private landlords responsible for regulated tenancies where repairs and modernisation may have been limited by a sitting tenant need to be aware of the Act’s provisions.”
There are circumstances which means the landlord isn’t responsible for problems in the rental accommodation. If a tenant, or the ten.ant’s possessions, have caused problems in the rental property, the landlord isn’t responsible for improving the house. If the landlord has been unable to gain permission to carry out changes, they can’t be held accountable for improvements to the accommodation. Also, if an Act of God has caused problems, the landlord isn’t responsible for changes or upgrades.
Landlords can be forced to improve the rental property
If the court finds the landlord guilty of offering an uninhabitable home, they can order the landlord to carry out improvements. The court also has the power to order a landlord to compensate the tenant. The level of compensation depends on:
- The damage suffered by the tenant
- The condition of the property
- The length of damage the issue was present
Landlords are advised to review the state of their rental property and ensure that everything is in working order. Landlords should also open a dialogue with tenants, to ensure they are happy with the lease. If there is an issue with the rental property, it is best to resolve matters sooner rather than later.
If you are a landlord looking for guidance in dealing with the new Act or you need support in providing the best service to your tenants, contact Moore & York, and we will be happy to assist you.
Moore & York Lettings’ Leicester office caters for properties to rent in the city centre and covers a wide radius of towns and villages including Market Harborough, Lutterworth, Hinckley, Markfield, Melton Mowbray and Oakham.
1 Rutland Street,
0116 275 63 60
Moore and York Lettings
Moore and York Lettings
‘Moore and York Lettings’ Loughborough office caters for properties to rent in the town centre and covers a wide radius of towns and villages including Birstall, Coalville, Kegworth, West Bridgeford and Thrussington.
18 Devonshire Square,
01509 21 45 46