Are you ready for the Fitness for Human Habitation Act?

Wendy Thomas, Residential Product Manager

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Homes (Fitness for Habitation) Act 2019

From the 20th March, the Governments’ Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act comes into effect. 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 having to live in unsafe or unsanitary conditions, such as damp, poorly ventilated properties.

What does it mean?

Fit for human habitation means that there is a defect in the property that is so serious that a court considers the property to be unfit for that person to live in.

This means that the property has to be judged on the basis of the property condition as it is 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.

What are the criteria?

A number of 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 for 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 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 adequately maintain their properties. 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 it was developed by Nuaire over 50 years ago.

By tackling the cause of condensation dampness with the installation of PIV, landlords can not only minimise disrepair claims but also reduce calls to problem properties by taking this preventative measure and ensure 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 as a result of cooking, cleaning and other daily activities. A humid environment creates the perfect breeding ground dustmites 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 on a daily basis 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. 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 02920858500 or click here.

 

 

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