Private Sector Housing service works with landlords, tenants and managing agents to ensure that privately rented properties are maintained to a healthy and good standard across East Devon.
Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018
From 20 March 2020, everyone who has a secure or assured tenancy, or a statutory tenancy, or a private periodic tenancy, can use the Homes Act regardless of when their tenancy began. Anyone who is still on the fixed term of a private tenancy that began before 20 March 2019 cannot use the Act until the end of that fixed term.
The Act applies to the social and private rented sectors and makes it clear that landlords must ensure that their property, including any common parts of the building, is fit for human habitation at the beginning of the tenancy and throughout.
To achieve that, landlords will need to make sure that their property is free of hazards which are so serious that the dwelling is not reasonably suitable for occupation in that condition. Most landlords take their responsibility seriously and do this already.
Where a landlord fails to do so, the tenant has the right to take action in the courts for breach of contract on the grounds that the property is unfit for human habitation. The remedies available to the tenant are an order by the court requiring the landlord to take action to reduce or remove the hazard, and / or damages to compensate them for having to live in a property which was not fit for human habitation.
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