HOMES FIT FOR HUMAN HABITATION – Standard of Living
If you are a private sector residential Landlord owning property in the England and/or Wales that is rented to tenants the information in this article will be very useful to you and if passed into law will potentially signify a number of changes for you and your properties regarding the standard of living.
The Welsh assembly has just closed it consultation on the issue of ‘Homes Fit for Human Habitation’, regarding the standard of living. The consultation which closed on the 12th of January 2018 will now move forward.
There is also going to be a second reading on the same subject in Westminster on Friday 19th January which controls matters in England.
The Welsh government launched the consultation on draft regulations and a guide to implement ‘Fitness for Human Habitation’ requirements for rented properties. This was introduced in the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016. The consultation covered a range of topics and issues, which would determine the standard of living for homes for people in England and Wales. Under section 91 of the Act, landlords must make sure their properties are ‘fit for human habitation’ for the full length of a tenant’s contract. This has been implemented to ensure the safety of the tenants while they live at the property and to make sure that all landlords adhere to the new regulations.
Below are the topics and points discussed in the consultation for you to understand the range of issues being considered by the Welsh Assembly in regards to the standard of living.
- Damp and mould growth
- Asbestos and manufactured mineral fibres
- Carbon monoxide and fuel combustion products
- Uncombusted fuel gas
- Volatile organic compounds
- Electrical hazards
- Excess cold
- Excess heat
- Crowding and space
- Entry by intruders
- Lighting (including natural)
- Domestic hygiene, pests and refuse
- Food safety
- Personal hygiene, sanitation and drainage
- Water supply for domestic purposes
- Falls associated with baths etc.
- Falls on the level
- Falls associated with stairs and steps
- Falls between levels
- Hot surfaces and materials
- Collision and entrapment
- Position and operability of amenities
- Structural collapse and falling elements
There are also 3 specific requirements under consideration for imposition on landlords. If these requirements are not met the property will be deemed unfit for tenants to reside within the property due to the standard of living.
- Smoke alarms on every floor used as living accommodation
- Carbon monoxide detectors in any room which has a gas, oil or solid fuel burning appliance installed
- Electrical safety testing at least every 5 years
If you own property which you rent to tenants and the matters above are passed into law you will be required to adhere to these rules or risk breach of contract. This means the tenant can take out court proceedings if they deem the property unfit for them to reside within and the standard of living are unsafe. Not only could this mean that the landlord will need to take specific action to rectify the issue but they could also result in an order for compensation.
Furthermore, if the issue persists and there has been no attempt by the landlord to rectify the issue, their Landlord Licence risks being revoked by Rent Smart Wales. The Housing Act 2004 regarding HHSRS enforcement remain and will not be altered by the new Fit for Human Habitation requirement.
If the proposals progress further they will certainly have an impact on all Landlords and Tenants.
Are you a Landlord? Did you find this article useful? Do you know any other landlords that need to know about this issue?
If so, please Share this article on your social media platforms to ensure that no Landlord gets their licence revoked due to breach of contract.