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Hammersmith Litigation Solicitor Maya Elci considers issues surrounding landlords’ obligations under the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018.
All tenancies made after 20th March 2019 are subject to The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation Act) 2018 and from 20th March 2020, the Act will apply to all tenancies with duration of less than 7 years.
Section 11 of Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 obliges landlords to fix certain parts of a building which deteriorate from their original state such as the structure, gas, electricity, water and sanitary services. However, the Fitness Act widens the obligations and obliges the landlord to ensure that the property is fit for human habitation, such obligations include issues of repair, stability, damp, internal arrangements, natural lighting, ventilation, water supply, drainage and sanitary conveniences, facilities for preparation and cooking as well as any prescribed hazards (relating to properties in England only). Landlords obligation is therefore no longer limited to repairs but rather improvements.
Of course landlords must familiarise themselves with their new obligations under the Act and review any legal documents to ensure compliance, although the existing tenancy agreements do not need to be renewed as the obligations imposed by the Act are implied in all tenancies. The agreements that are likely to require scrutiny are those that have been created between the landlords and managing agents specifying each parties’ responsibilities and the extent of these responsibilities.
Hammersmith Litigation Solicitor Maya Elci notes that landlords must bear in mind that the Act imposes obligations on them to keep the properties fit for human habitation and it is their duty to ensure compliance. They must not allow any negotiations with their managing agents or delay their obligation under the Act. If such negotiations delay their obligations and proceedings are issued, the landlord will not be able to justify their failure to comply and claim any losses from the managing agents involved.
If you have any queries about landlord and tenant matters please contact Maya Elci on email@example.com