Hopefully, it will not have escaped your notice that we have a new act of Parliament relating to the condition of rented properties (in England). They must all be ‘fit for human habitation’.
But what exactly does ‘fit for human habitation’ mean? And what are landlords obligations under the new act – for example, if the damage has been done by the tenants themselves?
This was the subject of the February webinar where solicitor Giles Peaker – one of the team promoting the act through Parliament – explained to us how the act is expected to work.
Basically, if your property is in tip-top condition you should not have anything to worry about. However, landlords no longer have some of the excuses which went with the repairing obligations under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 – for example, that something is ‘not broken’ or that putting the issue right would involve improvement work rather than repair.
Giles was careful to say that landlords now need to be more pre-active about getting repair work done and should not just wait for tenants to complain. So regular and careful inspections are now even more important.
It is also particularly important that properties are checked and any repair work carried out before new tenants are let into the property. So you should allow a period of at least a few days before new tenants move in to allow this work to be done.
Arranging for new tenants to move in a couple of hours after the old tenants move out will, from now on, be asking for trouble.
Landlord Law Business Level members will find the recording of the webinar here.