Unexpected costs are amongst some of the main reasons that landlords go into bankruptcy. According to nh-law.co.uk, there are new laws making it easier than ever for tenants to sue their landlord.
Here are some things that you need to know (note that this applies to tenants living in England only):
- If your tenancy agreement was signed before 20 March 2019, and your tenants feel that you failed to provide them with a safe and healthy living environment, they can use Homes Act 2018 to file a complaint against you.
- Everyone that has a secure tenancy agreement or statutory tenancy can use Homes Act 2018 (regardless of when their tenancy began).
- Your tenants can sue you over a variety of issues, some examples are:
- The house is already cold and damp.
- You failed to carry out necessary repairs or maintenance.
- Mould growth.
Under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, the responsibility of investigating living conditions was given to the local authorities which cause the local councils to suffer from budget cuts and staffing issues. This is the reason why some landlords are free to skimp the cost of repair and maintenance of their house, leaving tenants to deal with the consequences.
Under Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, you must be accountable for the houses that you are renting out. You need to make sure that the property is fit to live in. Here are some things that you have to maintain:
- cold; and
- other issues that go beyond just repair.
Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018
The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 came into force on the 20th of March 2019. The purpose of the new law is to ensure that the rented properties are fit to live in. These properties should:
- Be safe and secure.
- Have a healthy environment.
- Free from things that could cause serious harm to tenants.
Make sure to provide a safe, secure, warm and dry home for your tenants so you can avoid being taken to court. Note that the court can also require you to pay for compensation.
Your responsibilities as a landlord
According to the new laws, your home must fit for human habitation, this includes health and safety issues that may cause your tenants or anyone else in serious harm.
It does not matter what kind of property you are renting out; what matters is the agreement that you have with your tenants.