On March 20th 2019 a new law will allow tenants to sue landlords if their property is not fit for living in. The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act gives tenants the power to take their landlord to court if they do not maintain the property to an acceptable standard.
The new law will apply to tenancies of less than seven years in England and Wales. Under the new law, tenants can take action if there are issues with:
- internal arrangement
- natural lighting
- water supply
- drainage and sanitary conveniences
- facilities for preparation and cooking of food and for the disposal of waste water
- hazards under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System
The housing charity Shelter has welcomed the legislation that covers some “glaring omissions” of previous legislation including damp and mould.
Shelter blogged: “Crucially, the Bill will help private and social renter’s voices to be heard, by giving them the right to take their landlord to court over unfit and unsafe conditions.
“There are currently almost one million rented homes with hazards that pose a serious risk to health and safety.”