Tenants information on the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018
On 20 March 2019 a new law came into force to make sure that rented houses and flats are ‘fit for human habitation’, which means that they are safe, healthy and free from things that could cause serious harm.
|From 20 March 2019||From 20 March 2020|
|From 20 March 2019, anyone who signs a new tenancy agreement for a home, either the one they are currently living in, or a new home, or anyone whose tenancy becomes a periodic tenancy on or after 20 March 2019, can use the Homes Act. This includes tenants who sign tenancies of shorter than 7 years.||After 20 March 2020, everyone who has a secure or assured tenancy, or a statutory tenancy, or a private periodic tenancy, can use the Homes Act regardless of when their tenancy began. Anyone who is still on the fixed term of a private tenancy that began before 20 March 2019 cannot use the Act until the end of that fixed term.|
Most landlords make sure that the houses and flats they rent out are safe and secure, warm and dry. But some landlords do not, and this means that some tenants live in dangerous or unhealthy conditions. This new law, the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, will help tenants and make sure irresponsible landlords improve their properties.
If rented houses and flats are not ‘fit for human habitation’, tenants can take their landlords to court. The court can make the landlord carry out repairs or put right health and safety problems. The court can also make the landlord pay compensation to the tenant.
Information on your rights can be found in the "How to rent a safe home" guidance.
It is important to note that these new powers are not replacing any exisiting powers. Issues of property disrepair can still be reported to the council for investigation and enforcment.
You can find out more about the Act by downloading the guidance for tenants available from here.