Your local property experts bring you the latest industry news, this month written by Damon Robbins (pictured below) on behalf of Foxes Sales & Lettings.
The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 came into effect on the 20 March 2019 for brand new tenancies and renewals. Existing tenancies will be covered by the act by 20 March 2020 at the latest.
What does the law require?
In short, all landlords will be required to let and maintain their property *fit* for human habitation and failure to so will increase the chance of a tenant pursuing you through court for a compensation claim. As with all new laws, we will have to await a few court decisions to have an exact idea of how the law is being interpreted.
What does it really mean for the landlord?
The landlord will need to undertake a more detailed inspection of the property before a new tenancy commences by evidencing its condition, ideally in written and photographic form, and ensuring any potential defects or issues are remedied. For example, uneven paving stones, no handrail on stairs, unsafe electrics and old heating.
Also during the tenancy itself, the landlord will need to ensure that there is a robust inspection programme to include any common areas, and ensure there is a detailed repairing procedure to minimise the risk that the tenant begins a compensation claim. Having a system to log repairs, follow up contractors, evidence any access refusal by the tenant and evidence a satisfactory completion of a repair request will be vital in defending any claim from a tenant.
In a compensation culture, it is crucial a landlord is better prepared, so for more information please get in touch with the friendly lettings team at Foxes using the contact details below or visit our blog at bournemouthpropertyblog.com
t. 01202 299600