Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018

Guide for tenants: Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 - GOV.UK (

The Act applies to the social and private rented sectors. It allows tenants to take their own actions against their landlord if their rented home is not fit for habitation. 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.

Landlords must make sure that their property is free of hazards which are so serious that the dwelling is not reasonably suitable for occupation. 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  court can require the landlord to take action to reduce or remove the hazard, and / or pay damages to compensate the tenant.

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.

Private Water Supplies

Establishing Holiday Accommodation, Caravan, Camping Sites or Short Term Lets

Recent years have seen an increased demand for holiday and short term accommodation in the UK. If you are planning or in the process of establishing a new holiday accommodation, Caravan, Camping Site or short term let on your property, which is to be connected to a private water supply please let us know so that we can give you more advice.

East Devon District Council is required by law to monitor private water supplies to ensure safety standards are met. Holiday accommodation or short term lets are considered commercial activity under Regulation 9 of the Private Water Regulations (England) 2016 (as amended). They require routine risk assessment every 5 years and annual water sampling*.

This work must be carried out and the results verified by UKAS accredited samplers prior to the first public use of the property. Please contact us via our website at the earliest opportunity if you are considering such a venture.

For further information we recommend you visit the Drinking Water Inspectorate’s web pages on private supplies and engage the services of a water engineer to assess the suitability of your supply for this purpose.

Please note that planning permission is required for a holiday let if a change of use is proposed and certain Health and Safety regulations need to be met before commercial activities can commence.

For more information on establishing a holiday or short term let please visit East Devon District Council’s website regarding:


Business Rates

Private Water Supplies

 *East Devon District Council make charge to recover costs for sampling and risk assessment of private water supplies, details of which can be found on our website.