Are you suffering from pest problems in your rented home? This relatively new act could help you!

The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018

On 20 March 2019, a new law came into force to make sure that rented houses and flats are ‘fit for human habitation’, which means that they are safe, healthy and free from things that could cause serious harm.

Most landlords make sure that the houses and flats they rent out are safe and secure, warm and dry. But some landlords do not, and this means that some tenants live in dangerous or unhealthy conditions. This new law, the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, will help these tenants and make sure irresponsible landlords improve their properties or leave the business.

If rented houses and flats are not ‘fit for human habitation’, tenants can take their landlords to court. The court can make the landlord carry out repairs or put right health and safety problems. The court can also make the landlord pay compensation to the tenant.

The Key section in relation to pest activity is this

There is a problem with any of the following 29 things:

  • domestic hygiene, pests and refuse (including inadequate provision for disposal of waste water and household waste)

Is the problem so bad that it makes your house or flat not fit to live in?

Remember that if you do go to court, you will be asked this question by the judge, and your landlord will be asked to explain why he or she doesn’t think that this is true.

If you think your house or flat is in a seriously dangerous condition, you should also tell your local council. They have legal powers that they may be able to use to get repairs done quickly, at no cost to you, and also may be able to help protect you against being evicted because you’ve complained. Council and housing association tenants can also follow the complaints process for their housing provider and where necessary escalate this to the Housing Ombudsman.

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