It will be a requirement for all social and private landlords (including letting agents acting on their behalf) in England to ensure that a property is fit for human habitation both at the beginning of the tenancy and throughout. The Bill amends the Landlord and Tenant Act 1984.
If a home does not meet the standards of the HHSRS (Housing Health and Safety Rating System), tenants can take legal action in court for breach of contract.
Put forward by Labour MP Karen Buck, the Bill received Royal Accent on 20th December 2018 and comes into force 3 months after that date – 20th March 2019. Initially it will only apply to new and renewal tenancies in England from this date. It will then apply to periodic tenancies 12 months later to give landlords time to ensure properties are up to standard.
The government have a HHSRS guide for landlords and property professionals;
For more information on the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018;
The Explanatory notes issued by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government;
This is from a legal perspective, written by Cornerstone Barristers;