Latest News

Energy Efficiency PRS Regulations in Scotland on hold again

15 January 2021

The Scottish Government has today, 15 January, announced the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (Scotland) Standards that were to come into law in April 2021, with the first standard requiring properties to have a minimum EPC rating D for new tenancies from April 2022, have again been postponed. Read More...

New building safety regulators proposed for Wales

15 January 2021

The Welsh Government’s Building Safety White Paper covers all multi-occupied residential buildings, from houses converted into flats through to high rise apartment blocks. It sets out major reforms to how properties are designed, built, managed, and lived in whilst proposing clear lines of accountability and a stronger regulatory system. Read More...

Support growing for Fire Safety Bill amendments that add protection for leaseholders

15 January 2021

In November, the House of Lords passed an amendment to the UK Government’s Fire Safety Bill making changes to the current legislation to protect leaseholders from having to pay for historical fire safety remedial work, including the removal of dangerous cladding. Read More...

Homes Act comes into force on 20 March 2019

Tuesday 19 March 2019

The Home (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 finished its parliamentary journey in December 2018. From tomorrow all social and private landlords, including letting agents, in England will be required to comply.

Originally introduced by Karen Buck MP, ARLA Propertymark supported the legislation during its passage through Parliament.

Known as the Homes Act, landlords and letting agents acting on their behalf will be required by law to ensure that a home is fit for human habitation from the beginning and throughout the duration of a tenancy.

If a home is found to be hazardous, and the issue is not resolved, tenants will have the right to take direct legal action in the courts for breach of contract. Certain exemptions apply where the landlord or letting agent will not be held responsible.

We are advising that agents use the 29 hazards of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) as a basis to check against hazards in the home. Earlier this month the Government released Guidance on the legislation.

Tenancies

All new or renewed domestic tenancies on or after 20 March 2019 will apply to the new rules. This includes any tenancies that are significantly changed, such as a Change of Sharer.

Existing Fixed-Term Tenancies will fall under the requirements of the Act when they are renewed or become Periodic.

Existing Periodic Tenancies have 12 months until they will need to comply on 20 March 2020.

Commenting on the legislation coming into force, David Cox, ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive: “We’re pleased the Homes Act is coming into force tomorrow and congratulate Karen Buck MP on her work to provide a better private rented sector for all. This new legislation will give renters greater protection against criminal operators and means they will now be able to take direct legal action if their agent or landlord does not comply.”

Further help and information

Homes Fitness for Human Habitation Act - news article 

Government Releases Homes Act Guidance – news article

To help ARLA Propertymark members comply, we have created a detailed and comprehensive Homes Act Fact Sheet, which can be accessed in the Member’s Area. The Fact Sheet explores eligible tenancies, what is required of letting agents, and their landlords, at the start of and throughout the duration of a tenancy, as well as how best to monitor the condition of a property. It also provides guidance on where agents and landlords are exempt from rectifying issues with the property.

Keep your eyes peeled for our article on the Homes Act in the next issue of Property Professional magazine, which will available at the end of March.

The legal helpline is available to members with individual queries, make sure to have your membership number ready when you call.