Are your client's properties fit for human habitation?

ARE YOUR CLIENT’S PROPERTIES FIT FOR HUMAN HABITATION? 

The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill comes into force on 20 March, introducing yet another piece of regulation on the radar on landlords. For most landlords it is unlikely to cause any concern, but it’s worth landlords being proactive to ensure their properties comply with the regulations as they could otherwise find themselves forced to carry out improvements, be subject to compensation claims, or even sued for damages.

So, who is covered by the Act and what does fit for human habitation mean?

Properties covered by the Act.

The Act covers all tenancies of less than seven years in both the social and private rented sectors and includes the dwelling let to a tenant and all parts of the building in which the landlord has an interest. So, for example, the common areas of a block of flats owned by a landlord or common parts of an HMO.

What does fit for human habitation mean?

The Act says that a property will be considered unfit for habitation if there are serious defects in any of the following – repair, stability, freedom from damp, internal arrangement, natural lighting, ventilation, water supply, drainage and sanitary conveniences, or facilities for preparation and cooking of food and for the disposal of waste water.

Whether a defect is considered serious enough to render the property unfit for human habitation is something that will ultimately be decided by the courts.

If a property is deemed to be unfit for human habitation, it will usually be the landlord’s responsibility to carry out such works to put the issue right. However, there are some exceptions and landlords are not obliged to rebuild or reinstate a destroyed building, put right unfitness the tenant is responsible for causing, or carry out works which are the responsibility of a superior landlord, or for which they cannot obtain.

Should landlords be concerned?

In reality, a reasonably maintained property should not be deemed unfit and only landlords of properties suffering serious disrepair issues should be affected. However, it is still worth being aware of the Act’s provisions and landlords may wish to be proactive and have their portfolios inspected prior to legislation coming into force.

SOURCES

https://landlords.org.uk/news-campaigns/news/homes-fitness-human-habitation-act-2018-becomes-law

Share this article

About the author

Joe Arnold avatar

Joe Arnold

Joe is the guiding force behind Arnold & Baldwin and has overall responsibility for all commercial and residential surveys and valuations. Passionate about delivering the highest quality products at the fairest prices possible, he has been consistently searching for new and innovative client-focused services since founding the company with Jobie in 2007

Read more about Joe Arnold

Recommended Articles

Dream home video

The importance of a home survey

Date:

A property valuation is not a survey. Getting a home survey, and not just a bank valuation, is essential when buying a property. Read more

Qualify for lease extension

Do I qualify for a lease extension?

Date:

If you’ve owned your property for more than two years. If the original lease was for more than 21 years and the Freeholder is not a Charitable Housing Trust, the National Trust or The Crown then yes, congratulations, you qualify for a lease extension. Read more

Oops, image not found

What is the Lease Extension Process?

Date:

Everything you need to know about lease extensions and how the process works. Arnold and Baldwins building experts divulge all. Read more

Oops, image not found

Structure movement

Date:

Many owners are unaware of a problem until their house goes through the selling process Read more

Dream Home or Worst Nightmare?

Buying your new home can quickly become your worst nightmare. A home survey will help you realise your dream and help you buy with confidence. Find out more about the importance of a home survey here

The Importance of a Home Survey

Watch the Video

4.7 Average rating on Google
Here's what our customers say

CLARE MCSHANE

Professional, efficient surveyors. Get the job done in a timely manner, had our survey back within 5 days of inspection. All team members I spoke with (Tiffany and Billy) were really lovely. Highly recommend. :)

RICARDO OLIVEIRA

I have only just started working with Stephen and he has already demonstrated the high levels of customer attention and dedication that this company has. The first impression he has caused is such that made me write this review. I have no doubt that the continuous service will be of same level. Looking forward to working further with Stephen. Well done!

Steve Kenny

Lease extension - I found Daniel Grove very professional and had an excellent understanding of all aspects relating to this transaction. Advice was invaluable, and it was nice to come across someone who did exactly what they said they were going to do. Would not hesitate in recommending the firm and Daniel to anyone who has a lease to extend.

Petros Kyrkilis

Amazing job and fully professional treatment. The surveyor went above and beyond to check for everything, when he could have easily claim lack of access. In addition he was more than happy to answer questions over the phone and be there to explain the steps.

Lynn Wilson

Within 48 hours I received my detailed report from Joe Arnold which enabled me to see the property as it was and not through rose-tinted glasses! The report highlighted areas where money might need to be spent and provided guidance on questions for my solicitor - just what I needed. Overall, the survey enabled me to re-assess my offer and in this respect was invaluable. Thank you for a friendly and professional service.

Mark Roberts

100% choose this company. As first time buyers we had a mortgage valuation which said the house was fine. The Arnold & Baldwin survey found over £30,000 of problems. Holes in the roof with daylight visible, damp, woodworm, broken sash windows and poor electrics. This company helped us renegotiate and save a fortune.

Joebun

Arnold & Baldwin came recommended and I’ve got to say they were brilliant - not just in identifying issues with the property I was looking at but in the way they kept me informed and up to date (ie picking up the phone instead of just posting / emailing communications with you). After dealing with estate agents for so long, it’s nice to have someone who is genuinely on your side.

Kamal Rahman

From my initial interaction with the firm I found them to be prompt, courteous and helpful. I received a detailed Homebuyers report within a week of instructing and was given the opportunity to talk it through with the attending surveyour. Overall excellent service all round, would certainly recommend this firm.

Sign up for monthly Property Insights

Follow Us