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New Law Means That Tenants Can Sue Landlords for Damp Homes
Both private and social tenants will be able to sue their landlords for damp and cold living conditions as of the 20th March 2019, thanks to a new law.
What is covered under the new law?
Under the new Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act, if a landlord fails to provide damp repairs, ventilation, cooking facilities, drainage, clean water or natural light, they will be in breach of the law. Tenants will then be able to sue their landlord and take them to court, where a judge can issue an injunction to force the landlord to carry out the work.
Why is the new law important?
According to a survey conducted by the charity Shelter, over 1 million rented properties housing between 2.5 – 3 million people have Category 1 hazards that pose a serious threat to health or safety.
Shelter believes one of the reasons for the rise in unacceptable living conditions in rental properties is due to the 1985 law that stipulated it was the responsibility of the local authority to investigate the situation, rather than the landlord.
However, budget cuts and an overstretched work force has meant that many local authorities haven’t been able to focus on investigating these issues. This has allowed some landlords to continue renting out properties without undertaking any repair work or maintenance on the behalf of their tenants.
Chief Executive of Shelter, Polly Neate, said: “With more and more families renting privately, we desperately need more protections and security for renters.
The act will help enforce best practice for landlords and agents, act as a deterrent for bad behaviour, and provide a legal lever for renters to pull if their landlord isn’t complying.”
If you are looking for damp repairs, ventilation solutions or any other kind of property preservation service, we are your number one choice. We cover all types of property within Dorset and Hampshire - contact us today on 01202 737739.
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