Tenants may soon be able to sue for properties not meeting basic standards

Tenants may soon be able to sue for properties not meeting basic standards

11:57 AM, 29th October 2018, About 4 years ago 13

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Along with powers given to local authorities to fine landlords up to £30,000 for properties in poor condition along with other regulatory offences tenants may soon be able to sue landlords directly for properties that do not meet basic standards

Labour MP Karen Buck’s Private Members Bill, the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill, has now been passed by the Commons goes to the House of Lords for debate and with government support is highly likely to become law next year.

Click here to review the Bill and its progress. “To amend the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 to require that residential rented accommodation is provided and maintained in a state of fitness for human habitation; to amend the Building Act 1984 to make provision about the liability for works on residential accommodation that do not comply with Building Regulations; and for connected purposes.”

Karen Buck, Labour MP for Westminster North, said in the Commons: “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 sub-standard accommodation and they are often least able to withstand the damage such conditions do.”

The RLA have supported this Bill for the following reasons:

“It doesn’t introduce any new obligations, as the standard is already in place via the HHSRS system

It will extend to all housing tenures. This means that councils, housing associations, private landlords and build-to-rent will be on an equal footing.

Will give council tenants a route to enforcement that is currently unavailable. Councils cannot take enforcement action against themselves, and are often reluctant to act against social housing. If the Bill is passed social housing tenants will be able to access direct enforcement of housing standards.

Provides an alternative route to enforcement Local authorities have cut back in areas like environmental health spending in recent years, leaving little capacity to prosecute criminal landlords. Now tenants, with suitable backing and proper evidence, will be able to take direct action to raise standards and help force the worst elements out of our sector.”

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Monty Bodkin

9:22 AM, 5th November 2018, About 4 years ago

"If any landlord doesn't want to provide the basics please sell up and leave the sector."

No one is suggesting they don't want to provide the basics or that homes shouldn't be fit for habitation.

The very real concern is that this will be abused by rogue tenants and ambulance chasing lawyers.

There are precious little safeguards in the bill to prevent this.

Well meaning but they've ignored the obvious consequences.

John MacAlevey

9:51 AM, 5th November 2018, About 4 years ago

I`m obliged by law to test alarms within my managed properties each & every time I undertake a viewing.
The tenant is only asked to test the alarms whilst in occupancy.
Why is the onus for saving lives a greater imperative on me than the occupant?
Make it the same as the seat-belt law..make it the users choice with sanctions.


10:26 AM, 5th November 2018, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark W at 03/11/2018 - 21:12Sorry Mark but I don't think you get the point. I would expect that 95% of landlords if not more would be happy to provide the basics. It is misuse of the law that allows tenants and their legal team to use the law for purposes of milking the landlords for as much as they possibly can and preventing genuine evictions of unruly tenants to follow through.
About a year ago and more recently, I have had tenants complain of disrepair at the point of hearings where they find solicitors at the court who advise them to raise this as a complaint even if not true. Disrepair has become a common complaint raised only at the point of going to court and not before.
In addition what solicitors and barristers look for, are for errors in the documentation filled in by the Landlord, and or interpretation of each sentence in documentation and the law that can be used against the Landlord.
This in turn not only allows the tenant to stay on much longer, often paying no rent and if it ends up being a litigation case, the landlord can very easily look at paying legal fees in the thousands when the Landlord was just trying to make a living as a good landlord

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