As a landlord you can now be sued by your tenant!

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Mar 19 2019

As a landlord you can now be sued by your tenant!

The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act comes into effect on March 20 so very soon, it will allow tenants to sue landlords to force improvements to their accommodation. This will change the dynamic and the relationship between certain tenants and landlords. Top of Form

In addition, it could potentially add confusion to the tenant eviction process, especially in the early days of the act, whilst everyone comes to terms with the legal ramifications.

Tenants will be able to peruse landlords over such items as cold and mouldy homes. Another act that will act further burden to a legal system that cannot cope with the current case load.

I will watch with interest to see how quickly these cases are processed compared to a case that is evicting a tenant or chasing for tenant debt.

It is worth noting that the update to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, will apply to tenancies of less than seven years in England and Wales.

The act as mentioned will allow tenants to the courts if the property is deemed unfit for living and the definition of what qualifies will please long-suffering tenants. From my basic research, the definition of deemed will be crucial in any court case and with cases that relate to properties that are too hot or cold, what element is landlord or tenant responsibility.

Of course, Shelter welcome the changes to the act and refreshing they actually include both private and social renters in their statements, so it will be interesting to watch if any local authorities are taken to court.

Of course, if you are a landlord with properties with non of the issues you have nothing to worried about? I am not so sure about that, as this act could potentially add delays to any removing of tenants.

If you believe some of the statements flying around there are around 2.5 million people who are going to benefit from this act. I wonder how many are private tenants and how many are social tenants?

The amendments to the acts covers items such as:

Repairs, Stability, Damp, Internal arrangement, Natural lighting, Ventilation, Water supply, Drainage and sanitary conveniences, Facilities for preparation and cooking of food and for the disposal of waste water, Hazards under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System.

A very extensive list indeed.

Previously a tenant complained to the local council, now they can go straight to court. As I mentioned I will be watching with interest to see the timeframe of any such cases.

A successful court order might require a landlord to remove or remedy the issue or even compensate a tenant with damages.

Will this act cause more landlords to give up their buy to let properties?

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  • Tracey miller

    I am an excellent private landlord And all my properties are private show home condition so this would not affect me. However I have one property within a local authority block and am frustrated to getting any work done to the communal areas. For instance the wooden front door to the block is absolutely rotten through lack of proper maintenance over the years which will cost so much more if and when it is replaced. it’s a shame private landlords can’t take the local authority to court. Also I hope that the epc ratings that changed last year for private landlords will change to include local authorities. Currently it does not.

    9th April 2019 at 8:01 am
  • Sitta Sittambalam

    The so called MPs and the rest of law fabricators (not Legal drafts persons) have clearly lost their way and cook up something as knee jerk reactions. Yes there are a few bad landlords, who are getting fewer, both private individuals, companies and Social housing organisations, just the same as quite a few pathetic and dishonest MPs, Councils, and civil servants, who continue to live a deluded life in imposing their arbitrary decisions on the public.
    But there are more good considerate landlords than there are numerous crooked rogue tenants, and the MPs have lost their way. Just look at the 2-3 year mess with Brexit. All talk & brag but total and utter inability to come to some unity /coalition and resolve the referendum decision. The EU politicians / bureaucrats are also deliberately nasty & difficult due to some moronic politicians (both UK and EU) putting up massive blocks. The EU is a good example of a pet dog that has grown out of control with the tail(bureaucrats) wagging the dog(member countries).
    The cooking up and passing of legislation is not necessarily going to make rental property landscape significantly better, instead it will be added ammunition for many devious tenants to avoid paying their fair dues and probably clog up courts with some inappropriate deviations via vexatious actions and complaints.

    13th April 2019 at 9:11 am

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