From 20th March 2019, the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 will make landlords more accountable than ever before for conditions in their properties. Under the new law, investors could be sued for substandard conditions.
At the beginning and throughout a tenancy, landlords must make sure that their properties meet certain standards for their tenants.
The Act will also give tenants the power to take their landlords to court for substandard conditions in their properties.
For the first time, landlords will be held accountable for issues caused by damp and mould.
Chris Michael, of Meaco, a leading dehumidifier specialist, says: “Conflict between a tenant and a landlord often arises when there is a problem with damp and mould, and who has responsibility for the problem.
“If the problem has been allowed to drag on the tenants’ health and possessions could be affected, and the landlord could be faced with costs for repairs and refurbishment.”
He explains: “With damp, the first action point is to check if there is a structural fault or a lack of ventilation. In combination with this a solution will often be to buy a dehumidifier. This removes the excess moisture from the air created by lifestyle issues (bathing, cooking, drying washing, breathing etc.). It would also reduce any increase in the room’s relative humidity whilst the tenant waits for repairs to be undertaken. In many cases, a dehumidifier alone will solve the problem.
“Condensation on walls is a sign that a situation is bad, but it does not necessarily mean that there is a structural issue. It could just be that the outside air is very cold, the walls have little or no insulation and the level of moisture inside is high. Improved wall insulation can help but the internal level of moisture stills needs to be reduced.”
Michael adds: “This new law will increase pressure on landlords to be proactive with regards to damp problems. To prevent damp, mould and condensation becoming a conflict area between tenant and landlord, then use a dehumidifier on a regular basis.”