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Are you ready for the Fitness for Human Habitation Act

From the 20th March, the Governments’ Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act comes into effect

Fitness for Human Habitation Act

The Act makes changes to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, placing new obligations on private and social landlords in England to ensure that residential properties are put and kept in a condition fit for human habitation. The new law is designed to prevent tenants from living in unsafe or unsanitary conditions, such as damp, poorly ventilated properties.

Fit for human habitation means a defect in the property that is so serious that a court considers the property unfit for that person to live in. This means that the property has to be judged based on the property condition and whether it is unsuitable for the actual person who lives in it, as opposed to the generic tests applied by local authorities using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). The new legislation allows tenants to bring court actions directly without involving the landlord, forcing landlords to carry out improvement works and potentially claim compensation.

Several issues will be considered before a judgement is made; they are

  • Repairs
  • Stability
  • Damp
  • Internal Arrangement
  • Natural lighting
  • Ventilation
  • Water supply
  • Drainage and sanitary conveniences
  • Facilities for preparation and cooking of food and the disposal of wastewater
  • Hazards under the HHSRS

Where one or more of these criteria are present, the courts will objectively assess whether the property is so defective that it is considered unfit for human habitation.

What are the penalties?

Tenants can now sue their landlord for damages for the entire length of their tenancy for failing to maintain their properties adequately. However, landlords who maintain their properties and respond to tenants’ requests for repairs have nothing to be concerned about.

How can Nuaire help?

Nuaire’s Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) system has been the go-to solution for dealing with condensation since Nuaire developed it over 50 years ago. By tackling the cause of condensation dampness with the installation of PIV, landlords can minimise disrepair claims and reduce calls to problem properties by taking this preventative measure and ensuring compliance with the Homes Act 2018. PIV treats and prevents dampness and requires minimal maintenance. Here are our top three benefits of installing PIV in your properties:

  1. Cure mould and condensation growth - Excess humidity occurs due to cooking, cleaning and other daily activities. A humid environment creates the perfect breeding ground for dust mites and mould growth. A PIV system like Drimaster-Eco will help extract excess moisture, curing and preventing condensation in the home.
  2. Protection from indoor pollutants -Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are released into the home daily due to the use of household sprays, beauty products and deodorants. NO2 gases are produced by gas cookers and gas central heating systems, while PM2.5 is produced by burning fuel, smoking and burning candles. These pollutants react with each other to form other pollutants, and the process is constant.
    The Drimaster-Eco works by displacing polluted indoor air with fresh, filtered air from outside, so the indoor air remains healthy.
  3. There is no need to open windows - To reduce humidity and condensation during the heating season, significant energy loss occurs by opening windows. By installing a Drimaster-Eco and providing fresh filtered air to the home, humid air is displaced without opening windows, making significant savings to the occupier.
    If you want to find out more about our Drimaster-Eco PIV range and its benefits, please call 029 20858 500 or click here.

Tenants can now sue their landlord for damages for the entire length of their tenancy for failing to maintain their properties adequately.

Written March 2019

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