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?