I hope you are aware that the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 came into force on 20th March.

This new legislation gives tenants the right to instigate legal action if their landlord fails to provide safe accommodation. This is in addition to the powers local authorities already have to enforce minimum standards.

The Act only applies in England although the Welsh government intends to introduce similar legislation.

The provisions of the Act apply to all tenancies signed on or after 20th March 2019. There is a twelve month transition period after which the legislation will apply to all periodic tenancies, irrespective of when they began.

The Act gives tenants the right to take legal action in the courts for breach of contract on the grounds that the property is unfit for human habitation. However, landlords will not be held responsible if it can be shown that condition of the property was brought about by actions of the tenants.

Once again, this is a piece of legislation that will help the reputations of the vast majority of landlords who maintain their rented properties in good condition whilst ensuring less reputable landlords are held accountable.