The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill has achieved Royal Assent, meaning that it will soon become an act of Parliament.
Put forward by Labour MP Karen Buck, the Bill amends the Landlord and Tenant Act 1984 and gives powers for tenants to sue landlords in cases where a property is deemed to be unfit. The same criteria apply to all common areas of a block of private rental properties.
Buck first presented an early version of the Bill back on June 24 2015; in the past year it has won cross-party support and back from trade bodies.
ARLA Propertymark chief executive David Cox says: “We’re pleased the bill has now received Royal Assent after a swift passage through Parliament. These new rules will give renters greater protection against criminal operators and is a step in the right direction for the market. We congratulate Karen Buck MP on her work and we look forward to continuing to work with her to achieve better enforcement against those who bring the sector into disrepute.”
And for the government, the minister for housing and homelessness Heather Wheeler says: “Everyone deserves a safe and decent place to live, regardless of whether you own your home or rent it. That’s why government has introduced a range of measures to help ensure that people who are renting have good quality and well-maintained properties to call home. This new law is a further step to ensure that tenants have the decent homes they deserve.”