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Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill Takes Step Forward

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

The Second Reading of the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation Bill) 2017-19 will take place today in the House of Lords.

The Bill has been promoted by Labour backbencher Karen Buck and has support from both government and industry.

The legislation aims to amend the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, as well as the Building Act 1984 thereby ensuring that all landlords in the social and private sectors must ensure their property is fit for human habitation at the beginning of the tenancy and throughout. If it becomes law, tenants will have the right to take legal action in the courts for breach of contract on the basis that the property is unfit for human habitation.

A joint report by the universities of Bristol and Kent expressed support for the Bill's provisions, saying: "This Bill addresses and provides redress for the gaps which currently exist in the private law of landlord and tenant regarding the state and condition of the property; the restrictions on a landlord's repairing obligations; and updating the criteria for determining fitness."

The Bill will only apply to tenancies in England, with the Welsh Government already applying similar provisions via its Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016.

Both the Residential Association of Landlords (RLA) and the National Association of Landlords (NLA) have also expressed their support for the Bill.