This Bill would amend the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 to require that residential rented accommodation is provided and maintained in a state of fitness for human habitation.
It would give tenants the right to take legal action when their accommodation is substandard, rather than having to rely, as they do now, on the local authority to do so on their behalf.
In June 2015, Karen Buck MP was allocated the ninth position in the Private Member’s Bill Ballot. She introduced the Homes (Fit for Human Habitation) Bill, but the Bill did not make sufficient progress in the 2015-16 Parliamentary session and was dropped. In July 2017, Karen Buck introduced a revised version of her Homes (Fit for Human Habitation) Bill after finishing fourth in the most recent Ballot.
Currently, a landlord is technically only required to make a property fit for human habitation if the annual rent is below £80 – against an average weekly rent in London of £362. This Bill would bring that threshold up to date and require landlords to rectify issues such as damp and mould as well as safety hazards such as broken fire alarms, hand rails and secure locks.
This is a Private Members Bill from Karen Buck MP.
The last time Karen Buck tried to introduce this Bill it was “talked out” by Conservative MP Philip Davies. He argued that the legislation was unnecessary and that private landlords generally wanted to do the right thing and any further regulations would place too big a burden on them and prove to be counter-productive.
How to get involved
Contact your MP or Karen Buck MP who introduced the Bill.
If I don’t act, will it go through?
This Bill was drawn fourth in the Private Members Bill ballot and so it does have a chance at becoming law.