What are the Health and Safety requirements for Landlords?

The Tenant Fees Act came into effect on 1 June 2019, meaning that there are specific rulings on payment for Landlords. But, what are the health and safety requirements for landlords?

Main areas of concern for tenants

Recently, a company inspected 60,000 properties, finding that more than 4,500 had at least one Housing Health & Safety Rating Assessment (HHSRS) issue.

The main areas for concern were broken smoke detectors, which made up 40 per cent of all issues, while more than one-quarter of the problems reported were stair trip hazards.

New legislation

The Fitness for Human Habitation Act came into force in March 2019, updating the former Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

The act requires all landlords, both social and private, to ensure that their properties are fit for human habitation at the beginning of the tenancy and throughout. This also includes any common parts of the building.

If the courts find that a property is not fit for human habitation, then they may order compulsory improvement of the condition of the property, as well as possible compensation for the tenant.

What is defined as not fit for human habitation?

The criteria which are considered when making a decision on being fit for human habitation include the 29 hazards set out in the Housing Health and Safety (England) Regulations 2005. Additional factors that are included are;

  • Not enough ventilation
  • Not enough natural light
  • Serious damp problem
  • Issues with the supply of hot and cold water
  • Drainage problems
  • Lavatory issues
  • Difficulty to prepare and cook food
  • The building is unstable
  • The building is neglected and in a bad condition

Access to heating, as well as the regular maintenance and inspection of the boiler,  must be complied with for insurance purposes.

Whether you are a landlord with a significant portfolio, a landlord with a student property or any other, health and safety is of paramount importance. The penalties can be severe, with tenants having more power to take action.

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