13:49 PM, 31st October 2017, About 5 years ago 27
The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill is a private members Bill sponsored by Westminster North Labour MP Karen Buck.
It presented to Parliament through the ballot procedure on 19 July 2017 as a first reading not having yet been subjected to any debate and is due to have a second reading debate on the 19th January 2018.
The summary states the purpose is 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.”
The Bill is looking to give more powers to tenants to force landlord to fix category one health and safety hazards or take action against landlord if these hazards are not fixed. Examples of the types of hazards include leaking roofs, exposed or overloaded wiring, damp, badly fitted doors etc.
To follow the progress of the Bill on the Parliament website click here.
Currently under the deregulation act 2015 provision is made to suspend the operation of section 21 in order to protect a tenant against retaliatory eviction.
Retaliatory Eviction occurs where a landlord takes steps to evict a tenant because the tenant has complained about the condition of the property, rather than carry out repairs.
The new process means that the tenant has to put in writing to the landlord his/her complaints about disrepair. The landlord has 14 days to respond to the tenant, setting out when they will access the property, look at the remedies and carry out repairs.
If the tenant isn’t satisfied and the landlord hasn’t carried out the repairs, the tenant can make a complaint to the local housing authority. Local councils have been given the power to serve an enforcement notice on the landlord, setting out “a reasonable timescale” for improvement works to be carried out. Landlords served with an Improvement Notice cannot issue a section 21 within six months of an enforcement notice being served.
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