CEL Solicitors explain your rights as a private or social tenant and how that relates to the Fitness for Human Habitation Act.
The Fitness for Human Habitation Act started off as a private member’s bill introduced by Karen Buck. It made very small amendments to the Landlord and Tenant Act, but those amendments will have a massive impact on tenants.
Now, a landlord has to ensure that the property is fit for habitation at the start of a tenancy and remains fit throughout the tenancy.
That was in the previous Landlord and Tenant Act, but there was a rent cap of 60 pounds a year so it didn’t apply to anyone over time. But that rent cap is being removed. The process for making a claim hasn’t changed. The pre-action protocol that we currently use is being amended, so that we can use it for the new legislation. Proceedings would be in the county court as they have been previously.
The main change is that we can claim for things that we haven’t been able to claim for previously. And these things are the sort of thing that have a massive impact on tenants’ lives such as damp, excessive cold, infestations and ventilation. They’re the sort of things that cause health problems.
We can help any tenant of rented accommodation that have been trying to get their landlord to do repairs and the landlord hasn’t done it.
They need to put their landlord on notice of the repair, but if the landlord hasn’t done it within a reasonable period of time then we can assist trying to get those repairs done, and try and secure compensation for them. We would take full instructions from the tenant about what the issues were, and how it had been reported, and whether the landlord had done anything about it. We’d get photographs of the issues and contact the landlord and invite them to address them. If they don’t then we can get a surveyor out to the property can’ll carry out an inspection, provide a full report and then if we still can’t get the landlord to do the repairs and offer compensation, then we will take them to court.
Bringing a claim against the landlord shouldn’t affect the tenancy, the landlord can’t evict a tenant just because they brought a claim for disrepair. At CEL Solicitors, we’ve got a wealth of experience of dealing with disrepair claims. We’re experienced and hard working and will always achieve the best result possible for the client. We act for tenants under a conditional fee agreement which is also known as a no win, no fee agreement, so if the claim isn’t successful then the tenant wouldn’t be responsible for any of our legal costs.