Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2019
This Act comes into law on 20th March 2019 and has the potential to radically alter the responsibility of landlords to both their properties and tenants. Running in parallel with the HHSRS (Housing Health Safety Rating System), the Act looks at making a property more suitable and comfortable for a tenant to occupy, as opposed to it just being safe to live in. It revives the standards in older Acts, but in principle it is a cornerstone bill in the government`s determination to drive up standards in the PRS (Private Rental Sector).
Among the most explicit inclusions of responsibilities are Common Parts. This is not just limited to whole blocks or individual flats as it imposes a wider assessment of the risks posed to tenants and visitors.
Existing provisions will be looked at and questioned as to suitability.
Access to look at a problem will have to be on a 24 hour written notice; unless it is an agreed emergency.
Tenants will have the right to make the landlord aware of problems and monitor the response, they would then have the ability to take the landlord to court for failing to meet their obligations. Failure to do so could also lead to the local authority investigating the problem and checking all 29 areas of the HHSRS.
HHSRS was a complex field; adding in this Act takes responsibility and evidence of work to a totally new level and one that will be heavily influenced by the tenants.