Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 – a change of perspective?

As of 20 March 2019, the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act will interact with previous property maintenance and repair legislation and pull them all together. It will be essential to have a sound working knowledge

of the essential sections of each bill to be able to provide the higher quality of accommodation that the government seeks in the PRS.

In addition to the Homes Act 2018; there are seven main areas that need to be understood:-

  • The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (s.11-17)
  • The Housing Health and Safety Rating System
  • The Defective Premises Act 1972
  • The Environmental Protection
  • Act 1990 (Part III)
  • The Equality Act 2010
  • The Deregulation Act 2015
  • Section 21

The above provides a comprehensive framework for protection of the tenant and the improvement of the housing stock. Under the Deregulation Act 2015 (s.33), tenants can seek protection against retaliatory evictions if the landlord is unable to show

evidence that they have or are in the process of resolving the complaint which must have been submitted in writing by the tenant. The adequate response must be in writing within 14 days and provide a description of the proposed action to address the complaint and give a reasonable timescale for the work to take place. Failure to do this properly could jeopardise the landlord`s right to issue a Section 21 Notice.

The need to maintain and repair has never been a more major requirement than now and having an evidence trail of all communication will be essential. Only by safeguarding the actions taken will landlords be able to avoid potentially making a serious mistake which could result in a fine or worse.