- April 5, 2020
- By Giles Peaker
- 0 comments
Fitness for Human Habitation now applies to many more homes
As of today, 20 March 2020, section 9B(4) of Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 means that the section 9A ‘fit for human habitation’ obligation applies to all periodic and secure tenancies in England that existed on 20 March 2019 and are ongoing.
This means that the provisions introduced by the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 now apply to tenancies in England of less than 7 years where:
a) The tenancy began on or after 20 March 2019 (including ‘renewals’), from the date of the tenancy.
b) The tenancy was for a fixed term that began before 20 March 2019, but became a secure or periodic tenancy on or after 20 March 2019 – the obligation applies from the date the tenancy became secure or periodic.
c) All periodic and secure tenancies that were already in existence on 20 March 2019, from 20 March 2020.
With the exception of some few tenancies where the fixed term is longer than a year (but less than seven years) that began before 20 March 2019, this means that the fitness obligation now applies to virtually all residential tenancies in England.
The fitness obligation is not retrospective, so breach of duty (and with it any damages for the breach) only arises at the point the obligation applied (thought there may well be damages for disrepair or nuisance for a previous period).
Giles Peaker, who worked with Karen Buck MP on getting the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 in to law, said “I’m delighted that the duty on a landlord to keep people’s homes fit for human habitation now applies to nearly all tenancies in England and that the roll out of the Act is complete. In these difficult times, having a safe home matters more than ever.”
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