Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill receives Royal Assent

Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill receives Royal Assent

8:54 AM, 21st December 2018, About 3 years ago 15

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Karen Buck MP sponsored the Bill giving tenants the right to take legal action against Private and Social landlords if a property isn’t up to the standard of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) for breach of contract.

All landlords or agents acting on their behalf must ensure that a rental property is fit for human habitation at the beginning and throughout the duration of the tenancy.

The third reading and final chance for the Lords to change the Bill took place on 19 December and no amendments were made. As both Houses have agreed on the text of the Bill passed for Royal Assent on the 20 December and comes into force in three months for new and renewed tenancies in England from this date. New and renewed periodic and secure tenancies will be under the new rules in 12 months.

Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018: Click Here

(1)In a lease to which this section applies of a dwelling in England (see section 9B), there is implied a covenant by the lessor that the dwelling—

(a)is fit for human habitation at the time the lease is granted or otherwise created or, if later, at the beginning of the term of the lease, and

(b)will remain fit for human habitation during the term of the lease.

(2)The implied covenant is not to be taken as requiring the lessor—

(a)to carry out works or repairs for which the lessee is liable by virtue of—

(i)the duty of the lessee to use the premises in a tenant-like manner, or

(ii)an express covenant of the lessee of substantially the same effect as that duty;

(b)to rebuild or reinstate the dwelling in the case of destruction or damage by fire, storm, flood or other inevitable accident;

(c)to keep in repair or maintain anything which the lessee is entitled to remove from the dwelling;

(d)to carry out works or repairs which, if carried out, would put the lessor in breach of any obligation imposed by any enactment (whenever passed or made);

(e)to carry out works or repairs requiring the consent of a superior landlord or other third party in circumstances where consent has not been obtained following reasonable endeavours to obtain it.

(3)The implied covenant is also not to be taken as imposing on the lessor any liability in respect of the dwelling being unfit for human habitation if the unfitness is wholly or mainly attributable to—

(a)the lessee’s own breach of covenant, or

(b)disrepair which the lessor is not obliged to make good because of an exclusion or modification under section 12 (power of county court to authorise exclusions or modifications in leases in respect of repairing obligations under section 11).

(4)Any provision of a lease or of any agreement relating to a lease (whether made before or after the grant or creation of the lease) is void to the extent that it purports—

(a)to exclude or limit the obligations of the lessor under the implied covenant, or

(b)to authorise any forfeiture or impose on the lessee any penalty, disability or obligation in the event of the lessee enforcing or relying upon those obligations.

(5)Where in any proceedings before a court it is alleged that a lessor is in breach of an obligation under the implied covenant, the court may order specific performance of the obligation (regardless of any equitable rule restricting the scope of that remedy).

(6)Where a lease to which this section applies of a dwelling in England forms part only of a building, the implied covenant has effect as if the reference to the dwelling in subsection (1) included a reference to any common parts of the building in which the lessor has an estate or interest.

(7)In a lease to which this section applies of a dwelling in England, there is also implied a covenant by the lessee that the lessor, or a person authorised in writing by the lessor, may enter the dwelling for the purpose of viewing its condition and state of repair.

(8)The covenant implied by subsection (7) requires entry to the dwelling to be permitted—

(a)only at reasonable times of the day, and

(b)only if at least 24 hours’ notice in writing has been given to the occupier of the dwelling.

(9)In this section—

“common parts” has the meaning given by section 60(1) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987;

“lease” does not include a mortgage term;

“lessee” means the person for the time being entitled to the term of a lease;

“lessor” means the person for the time being entitled to the reversion expectant on a lease.

David Cox, Chief Executive ARLA Propertymark said: “We’re pleased the Bill has now received Royal Assent after a swift passage through Parliament. These new rules will give renters greater protection against criminal operators and it is a step in the right direction for the market.

“We congratulate Karen Buck MP on her work and we look forward to continuing to work with her to achieve better enforcement against those who bring the sector into disrepute.”

When royal assent has been given, an announcement is made in both Houses – by the Lord Speaker in the Lords and the Speaker in the Commons.

At prorogation (the formal end to a parliamentary session), Black Rod interrupts the proceedings of the Commons and summons MPs to the Lords chamber to hear the Lords commissioners announce royal assent for the bills passed towards the end of the session which had not received royal assent earlier in the year.

The legislation within the bill may come into effect immediately, after a set period or only after a commencement order by a government minister.A commencement order is designed to bring into force the whole or part of an Act of Parliament at a date later than the date of the royal assent.

If there is no commencement order, the Act will come into force from midnight at the start of the day of the royal assent. The practical implementation of an Act is the responsibility of the appropriate government department, not Parliament.



Comments

by Luke P

12:52 PM, 24th December 2018, About 3 years ago

I have a homeowning (although far from’well-off’) friend who recently had new double-glazed PVC windows fitted throughout by my regular window fitted upon requests for recommendations. She now has black mould (because they never ventilate and her, her husband, daughter and dog share the house with her elderly parents that barely go out). She asked me for the window fitters number again because she wanted to complain to him that the windows were causing the mould… 🤦🏼‍♂️

by Grumpy Doug

16:03 PM, 24th December 2018, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 24/12/2018 - 12:52Make your own passive vents (4 inch pipe, a bit of rockwool in the middle and vent covers each end - less than a fiver from Toolstation) and get busy with a drill and 4" corer. 2 in each room, about picture rail height should do the trick. I have student houses - they're incapable of opening windows or curtains! The vents help massively. Also consider installing a PIV on the top landing in older houses

by AJ

16:09 PM, 25th December 2018, About 3 years ago

This is probably a stupid question, but what is a ‘PIV’ ?

by Rob Crawford

16:32 PM, 25th December 2018, About 3 years ago

Positive Input Ventilation (PIV). Fan draws dry air from loft into house forcing stale / humid air out. That's the theory! I have one in one of my three bed houses but the tenants don't like the cold air that comes in. So if getting one, get one of the models with a heater.

by AJ

17:38 PM, 25th December 2018, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Rob Crawford at 25/12/2018 - 16:32
Thanks, sounds like a good idea?


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