The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill has passed through Parliament and received Royal Assent, making it law.
The Bill, tabled by Karen Buck MP, means that it will be a requirement for all social and private landlords (or agents acting on their behalf) in England to ensure that a property is fit for human habitation at the beginning and throughout the duration of the tenancy.
If a home does not meet the standard of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS), tenants will have the right to take legal action in the courts, for breach of contract. The Bill amends the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.
The Act comes into force three months after it has been passed, that is on 20 March 2019. It will only apply to tenancies made after that date so any tenancy entered into before 20 March (ie. signed by both parties and executed) will not be covered by the legislation initially even if the actual occupation begins after 20 March.
The RLA supports the Bill and you can read more about this in a blog post published last year written by our Policy Manager John Stewart here.
Last September, Karen Buck MP spoke about the Bill to delegates at the RLA’s Future Renting conference, and thanked the RLA for supporting the Bill.
Karen Buck says she is pleased to have had the support from the RLA for the Bill she has tabled-the (Homes) Fitness For Human Habitation Bill #FutureRenting18 pic.twitter.com/cwQnrN5fvc— RLA Landlord News (@RLA_News) September 13, 2018
Commenting on the new law, Heather Wheeler MP, the Minister for Housing said: “Everyone deserves a safe and decent place to live, regardless of whether you own your home or rent it. That’s why government has introduced a range of measures to help ensure that people who are renting have good quality and well-maintained properties to call home. This new law is a further step to ensure that tenants have the decent homes they deserve.”
To learn more about the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) you can read the RLA’s guide here.