Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill

The new ‘Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards)’ Billwhich comes into force on 20th March 2019 revives a clause which already exists in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, requiring all rented homes to be ‘fit for human habitation’ at the start of the tenancy and to remain so throughout.

The updated legislation includes a ‘fitness standard’ which includes issues that are not currently covered by a landlord’s legal repairing obligations, such as damp caused by design defects (lack of ventilation) rather than disrepair, and infestation (rodents, insects, bed bugs).

The Bill gives tenants a way to take effective action themselves if they rent a property in poor condition and the landlord fails to do the necessary repair and maintenance works. This applies to both private and social tenants.

At present, tenants have no way to enforce property standards themselves and the Bill gives tenants the right to take their landlord to court if their property is not fit and they will be able to apply directly to the Court for an injunction to compel a landlord to carry out necessary repair works, or for damages (compensation) for the landlord’s failure to keep the property in good repair.

In the worst cases it will be possible for tenants to provide their own evidence to the judge, such as photos of disrepair, without relying on an environmental health officer or independent surveyor’s report, which can be expensive.

Naughtons Solicitors handle a number of housing disrepair claims where tenants concerns are continuously ignored. We therefore back the new Bill as it gives social tenants the power to compel their landlord to carry out repair works and if nothing else, it will help raise the standard of living generally, through the broader positive impact on landlord education and awareness of their responsibilities and the risk of being sued.

If you are a tenant and would like to speak to a Solicitor about a housing disrepair claim, please call today on 0191 5006050. Alternatively, email us at:

Feel Free To Share

More From The Blog