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If you deal with a property which has a tenancy of less than seven years in England or Wales, you could find yourself needing to get your property up to scratch.

 

On March 20th, the new Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act will work to make landlords improve tenants' accommodation and is an update of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

 

It’s been a long slog for campaigners led by housing charity Shelter with some adaptations to the law in the wake of the Grenfell Disaster.

 

Under the new law, tenants can take landlords to court if there are major issues with:

 

  • Hazards under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System

  • Damp

  • Repair

  • Stability

  • Facilities for preparation and cooking of food and for the disposal of wastewater

  • Natural lighting

  • Ventilation

  • Water supply

  • Drainage and sanitary conveniences

  • Pests

 

While most landlords in the UK work to make sure their properties are up to standard to ensure their tenants are happy and will stay for the long term, some may not be aware of problems within their properties, and especially private landlords will struggle to keep on top of it all.

 

A clear way to provide contact and a system to report issues is top of the list in terms of keeping tenants happy (and from getting the law involved!), as well as having a ready list of reputable repairmen, doing regular inspections and dealing with any problems that arise in a quick and efficient manner.

 

For those who use the services of a property management company, this new legislation shouldn’t be as much of an issue, as long as the agent is competent enough to follow the law, and keep on top of the property for the landlord.

 

Another benefit of having a letting agent is that they will protect you from rogue tenants and those looking to exploit this law for their own gain. If they find you a great tenant for your property, issues should be reported promptly, and you’re less likely to run into someone looking to find loopholes in the law.

 

If you’re worried about whether your property is up to standard, or you’re not sure exactly what this new legislation entails, pop in for a chat or contact us today! Our CEO Neil Newstead knows the ins and outs of how the new law will affect you, and can help you prepare.

 

But be prepared, March 20th is coming up fast!

 

Neil Newstead, FARLA MNAEA MIRPM

 

Chief Executive Officer