Homes (Fitness For Human Habitation) Act
The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, known as the Homes Act, replaces Section 8 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (LTA 1985) in England, with the purpose of improving living standards in the private and social rented sectors.
A property unfit for human habitation is ‘so far defective in one or more of those matters that it is not reasonably suitable for occupation in that condition.’ Such as; any prescribed hazard(s), Repair; Stability; Freedom from damp; Internal arrangement; Natural lighting; Facilities for preparation and cooking of food; Water supply; Drainage and sanitary conveniences; Ventilation; and facilities for the disposal of waste water.
Under the Homes Act 2018, landlords and letting agents acting on their behalf must ensure properties, including common parts where they have an estate or interest, are fit for human habitation at the beginning and throughout the duration of a tenancy. Tenants will now be able to take direct legal action if their agent or landlord does not comply with the Act. NB: Agents should be aware that property checks will no longer be needed by local authority enforcement office. This law applies to ALL domestic tenancies (England Only).
NB: Section 8 of the LTA 1985 now only applies to tenancies in Wales. The new section 9C applies to Agricultural Tenancies, substituting ‘house’ with ‘dwelling’. The Act does not cover those with ‘Licences to Occupy’. This includes, but is not limited to lodgers, those living in temporary accommodation and some Property Guardians.
All Landlords should ensure their property/dwelling is fit for human habitation and your local agent can help with this.