Are you a private landlord?
Do you keep a written appraisal of the condition of each investment property?
If not, Mercian Law recommends you act immediately due to the potential for tenant claims under the Human Habitation Act 2018 which came into force on 20th March 2019 for all new tenancies. (From 20th March 2020 all tenancies regardless of commencement date will be covered.)
The main objective of the Act is to ensure that rental properties, like yours, meet fixed standards. In addition to the 29 hazards already mentioned in the Housing Health and Safety (England) Regulations 2005, ask yourself the following about your property:
- Is it unstable?
- Has it been neglected and in poor condition?
- Is it damp?
- Is the layout unsafe?
- Is there enough natural light?
- Is there sufficient ventilation?
- Is there a problem with the supply of hot and cold water?
- Is there a problem with the toilets or drainage?
- Can food be prepared, cooked and washed up?
If your property is found to be hazardous in any way the tenant has the right to make a claim against you to repair or rectify the issues. You must act within a reasonable time frame as you are responsible as soon as the issues are raised with you.
You are not required to deal with issues caused by your tenant or their possession. There is also an exemption for issues caused by fire, flood and storms.
If you fail to remedy the issues raised and legal action is commenced against you, the Court could find your property unfit for human habitation and issue a Compulsory Improvement Order and order you to pay compensation to your tenant.
It’s always best to take preventative action. However, if you find action being taken against you Mercian Law can assist with defending your tenants claim.
To discuss any tenant related issues please contact us either by using the web chat feature on our website or by calling 01827 215679.