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Tenants Will Be Able To Sue Landlords If Property Is Unfit For Human Habitation

Tenants Will Be Able To Sue Landlords If Property Is Unfit For Human Habitation

Tenants will soon be able to sue their landlord if their property is unfit for human habitation.

If landlords fail to ensure a property is free from an extensive range of problems, including damp and mould, tenants will be able to take their landlord to court and even seek compensation.

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The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act was first introduced last year, however, it only applied to people who had either signed a new tenancy agreement or whose tenancy became a periodic tenancy (i.e. a month by month or week by week) on or after 20 March 2019.

As of 20 March 2020, everyone who has a secure or assured tenancy, a statutory tenancy, or a private periodic tenancy, can use the Homes Act, regardless of when their tenancy began.

The Homes Act is designed to ensure landlords keep their properties up to standard. Credit: Flickr
The Homes Act is designed to ensure landlords keep their properties up to standard. Credit: Flickr

However, if you're still on the fixed term of a private tenancy that began before 20 March 2019 then you won't be able to use the act until the end of that fixed term.

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The law was introduced as a means of ensuring that landlords don't let properties descend into rack and ruin - and it's not just damp and mould though that landlords have to keep on top of.

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You could be sitting smugly around your house like this having sued your landlord. Credit: Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio
You could be sitting smugly around your house like this having sued your landlord. Credit: Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio

There are 29 problems in total which could see a property classed as unfit for human habitation:

  • damp and mould growth
  • excess cold
  • excess heat
  • asbestos and manufactured metal fibres
  • biocides (chemicals that treat mould)
  • carbon monoxide
  • lead
  • radiation (from radon gas, which is airborne or in water)
  • uncombusted fuel gas (leaks in gas appliances)
  • volatile organic compounds (chemicals which are gases at room temperature)
  • crowding and space
  • entry by intruders (such as not having a lock on your front door)
  • lighting
  • domestic hygiene, pests and refuse (including inadequate provision for disposal of waste water and household waste)
  • noise
  • food safety
  • personal hygiene, sanitation and drainage
  • water supply
  • falls associated with bath or shower
  • falls associated with stairs and steps
  • falls on the level (danger of falling on a flat surface)
  • falls between levels (danger of falling from one level to another, for example, falls out of windows)
  • electrical hazards
  • fire and fire safety
  • hot surfaces and materials
  • collision and entrapment
  • explosions
  • physical strain associated with operating amenities (i.e. very heavy doors)
  • structural collapse and falling elements

Of course, it's not your landlord's fault if you're a dirty b*****d or you trash the place, so don't go having a fire in your living room or anything daft like that 'cause you won't be covered.

Featured Image Credit: Flickr

Topics: uk news

Jake Massey

Jake Massey is a journalist at LADbible. He graduated from Newcastle University, where he learnt a bit about media and a lot about living without heating. After spending a few years in Australia and New Zealand, Jake secured a role at an obscure radio station in Norwich, inadvertently becoming a real-life Alan Partridge in the process. From there, Jake became a reporter at the Eastern Daily Press. Jake enjoys playing football, listening to music and writing about himself in the third person.