Last edited 07 Jun 2021

Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018


[edit] Introduction

In December 2018, the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act received Royal Assent. The law - which only applies in England - was enacted in March 2019.

[edit] Measures for tenants

Referred to as the Homes Act, the legislation protects tenants in rented properties - ensuring that they are ‘fit for human habitation’. It gives tenants the right to take legal action, including applying for a refund of up to 12 months’ rent if landlords fail to address health and safety hazards.

Any tenant who signed a new tenancy agreement (for a home, either the one they are currently living in, or a new home, or anyone whose tenancy becomes a periodic tenancy on or after 20 March 2019) from 20 March 2019 to 20 March 2020 is eligible to use the Homes Act. This includes tenants who sign tenancies of less than seven years. Any tenant 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.

Any tenant who entered into a secure or assured tenancy, or a statutory tenancy, or a private periodic tenancy after 20 March 2020 can use the Homes Act regardless of when their tenancy began.

[edit] Measures for landlords

The Homes Act makes landlords responsible for providing homes that meet an acceptable standard. It grants local authorities the ability to take action against landlords and agents who let unfit properties. This can include fixed financial penalties of up to £30,000 and banning orders – possibly for life – for the most serious offenders.

Additional measures under the Homes Act include:

Guidance regarding eligibility and additional details is available from the Guide for tenants: Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018.

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[edit] External resources

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