Tenants information on the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018

On 20 March 2019, a new law was introduced to ensure that all rented houses and flats are ‘fit for human habitation’. This means they must be safe, healthy and free from things that could cause serious harm.

From 20 March 2019: Tenants signing a new tenancy agreement or entering a periodic tenancy from this date can use the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018. This applies to tenancies shorter than 7 years.

From 20 March 2020: All tenants with secure, assured, statutory, or private periodic tenancies can use the Homes Act, regardless of when their tenancy began. However, those in the fixed term of a private tenancy that started before 20 March 2019 must wait until the fixed term ends to use the Act.

While most landlords ensure their properties are safe and comfortable, some do not. This law empowers tenants and holds irresponsible landlords accountable for improving their properties.

If a rental property is not ‘fit for human habitation’, tenants can take their landlords to court. The court can order landlords to carry out repairs or address health and safety issues, and possibly pay compensation to the tenant.

Learn about your rights in the How to rent a safe home guide.

This new law doesn’t replace existing powers. You can still report property disrepair to the council for investigation and enforcement.

For more information on the Act, download the tenant guidance on the GOV.UK website.

How to report disrepair in your private rented property

If you’re experiencing disrepair in your rented property, you can contact us for assistance.

Contact the Private Sector Safety Team

Address: Town Hall
St Aldate's

Telephone: 01865 252658

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