New Bill would give tenants powers to sue landlords over poor accommodation

Tenants living in sub-standard accommodation will be given the right to sue their landlords if a new Bill gets through Parliament.

MP Karen Buck’s Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill is due to have its second reading today.

It seeks to resurrect a law passed in 1885 and last amended in 1957.

This gives tenants the right to a home fit for human habitation, if the rent was less than £52 a year (£80 in London).

Successive governments have come under pressure to scrap the archaic rent limits, but have failed to act, meaning that the law has fallen into disuse.

Buck’s new Bill would require private rental accommodation to be provided and maintained in a state fit for human habitation.

It would give tenants the right to bypass councils if they want their properties repaired.

The Bill would protect landlords if the damage was caused by the tenant or by natural forces.

The Bill, which would amend the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, would apply in England.

A useful research note is here

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  1. jad

    Landlord Bashing is really quite the flavour at the moment – you wait until the next election and see how things change when some of the morons called MP’s want votes ………..  having said that, what are local authorities doing about enforcing the powers they do have at the moment ?  NO TENANT should have to live in sub standard accommodation

  2. Will

    It is increasingly clear that the Government have been so incompetent in tackling the true housing crisis of inadequate supply and over demand with their open door policy on migration that they are in a fix.  Their gross ineptitude is highlighted by trying to cover this by a smoke screen of constant attack on the private rented section.  This is yet another case of “confusion marketing” and like the banks with their PPI scam; it will eventually backfire.

    Reality is, if they were not so stupid, they will eventually realise they need the PRS. Even the local authorities know if they take out every piece of low standard housing they will have nowhere to house their tenants. Perhaps one reason they are not using their existing powers to the full?  This piece of proposed legislation may or may not make it through parliament.  It will make no difference to the vast majority of landlords who are responsible. So they think giving these poor tenants in the worst accommodation a right to directly sue landlords will improve things? – I guess the government will need to do a U turn legal aid to facilitate this then?  I don’t think so!  If a tenant is in the type of accommodation needing to sue a landlord they are unlikely to have the wealth or income to go to law.  This type of ongoing attack and the PRS will however do further reputational damage to the current government who will go down for all time  as the party of “LANDLORD BASHING”

    I would think almost all responsible landlords would agree JAD that no tenant should have to live in substandard accommodation.

  3. Romain

    “It would give tenants the right to bypass councils if they want their properties repaired.”

    Just when the new provisions against ‘retaliatory evictions’ require tenants NOT to bypass councils…


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