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The Fitness for Human Habitation act is exactly how it sounds, it’s a law to ensure that all rented homes are fit for people to reside in and the act is now in place to ensure that all properties remain that way for the duration of a tenancy. There is a long list of what will be considered deficiencies and if your property is defective in one or more of the below, it will be considered unfit for a tenant.

• Damp and mould growth
• Excess Cold
• Excess heat
• Asbestos and MMF
• Biocides
• Carbon monoxide and fuel combustion products
• Lead
• Radiation
• Un-combusted fuel gas
• Volatile organic compounds
• Crowding and space
• Entry by intruders
• Lighting
• Noise
• Domestic hygiene, pests and refuse
• Food safety (inadequate provisions)
• Personal hygiene, sanitation and drainage
• Water supply
• Falls (baths, between levels, level surfaces and stairs)
• Electrical hazards
• Fire
• Flames, hot surfaces etc.
• Collision and entrapment
• Explosions
• Position and operability of amenities etc.
• Structural collapse and falling elements

The legislation covers all aspects of in-habitation including that of utilities (such as white goods) you have provided may effect whether the property is actually suitable for a tenant. This legislation affects not only all new tenancies but all tenancy agreements that have been signed or re-signed within the last 7 years.

Most of these issues will be picked up when a check in / inventory takes place, giving you enough time to rectify all issues prior to the commencement of a tenancy and for any problems that have been reported during a tenancy, the liability to the landlord does not start until the landlord has been notified by the tenant or a third party. The landlord also needs to be given reasonable time to rectify the issues raised.

We have noticed that with these changes soon coming into effect, a significant increase of landlords who have self-managed are now looking to have their portfolios managed by an agent, who will not just ensure their properties are compliant under new legislation but also be on hand to service any issues which will inevitably arise from time to time when you own a property. Many of our “let only” landlords have decided that paying a monthly fee, which ensures all maintenance work is carried out efficiently by us, is easier to deal with and ultimately cheaper than keeping on top of everything themselves, which is especially difficult for landlords who live out of area.

To find out the benefits of us managing your property for you and the costs of this service, please give us a call on 01603 618618.

More information on the Home (Fitness for Human habitation) act 2018: https://www.landlordsguild.com/homes-fitness-for-human-habitation-act-2018/ . Information from this article was sampled for this blog.

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