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Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018

On 20 March 2019 the Act came into force. It is designed to ensure that all rented accommodation is fit for human habitation and to strengthen tenants’ means of redress against the minority of landlords who do not fulfil their legal obligations to keep their properties safe.

The Act gives tenants powers to take their landlords who fail in the legal obligations to court for breach of contract, force them to carry out improvement works and claim compensation. Landlords can potentially be sued for damages for the entire length of the contract.

Guidance for landlords

The Government has provided guidance and advice to landlords of domestic rented properties about the minimum standards required to let domestic property under the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018.

There are no new obligations for landlords under this Act; the legislation requires landlords to ensure that they are meeting their existing responsibilities with regards to property standards and safety.

Guidance for tenants

Your landlord must make sure that your home is ’fit for human habitation’, which means that it’s safe, healthy and free from things that could cause you or anyone else in your household serious harm. For example, if your house or flat is too cold and you can’t heat it, this can affect your health.

The Government has provided useful guidance and advice to tenants on this Act.