The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill is due to complete its passage through Parliament today (Wednesday 19th December 2018).
As a result, tenants across England are on the verge of being given new powers to take action against rogue landlords.
The private members’ bill, which will give both private and social tenants in England the power to take their landlords to court if their home is unsafe, will have its third and final reading in the House of Lords today.
The proposed new rules would require all tenancy agreements to have an implied covenant, stating that landlords must ensure that their properties are fit for human habitation at the start of and throughout the tenancy.
Tenants would be able to seek legal redress through the courts if their landlords fail to do this, without having to first go through the council.
Under the planned legislation, rogue landlords would be required to remove hazards or pay compensation to their tenants.
The bill, tabled by Karen Buck MP, will head back to the House of Commons early next year, for MPs to consider any amendments added by peers, before it’s given Royal Assent.
According to Buck, 750,000 homes in the private rental sector and 250,000 in the social rental sector have Category 1 hazards.
The MP for Westminster North has said in the past: “Living in a cold, damp, or unsafe home is hell. It damages people’s physical and mental well-being. It erodes the income of the poorest households. It impacts on children’s education.
“The most vulnerable tenants are those most at risk of being trapped in substandard accommodation and they are often least able to withstand the damage such conditions do.”
We will continue to keep landlords and tenants up to date with developments to the new law on ensuring that rental homes are fit for human habitation.