10 September 2019

Homes Act: Is your Property Compliant

By Paul Harrington

10 September 2019

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The heavily publicised Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 seeks to give more control to tenants, helping to ensure that properties are safe and suitable for residential use. For landlords, this means it’s more important than ever to stay up-to-date with the latest changes to rules and regulations, to keep their tenants happy and their properties compliant. Here are the three top things that landlords should know to make sure they stay compliant:

Know the signs

It will come as no surprise that damp and condensation are causing major problems in rented housing across the UK. Being as vigilant as possible is key, whether it’s noticing a damp and musty smell, mould or mildew on walls, or those all-too-common water droplets on windows. The link between these issues and poor ventilation is well known, so if you spot these signs, act quickly by seeking the advice of a qualified and experienced ventilation professional.

By understanding the underlying causes of condensation and damp, you’ll be able to assess whether a new ventilation strategy is needed, or if tenant behaviour is the biggest factor. For example, it can be exacerbated by certain actions, such as drying clothes indoors or close to radiators.

Know the consequences

While manufacturers can help to demystify the new standards, it’s actually designers, installers and building owners which have a responsibility under current Building Regulations to ensure compliance

The new Homes Act gives tenants much greater power to take action over landlords if properties aren’t suitable for safe and healthy living. For instance, if a rented property is deemed unfit, the court can enforce compulsory improvement to the home. In some cases, this might even result in compensation being given to the tenant.

Know the solutions

While getting to grips with any new piece of legislation is no small feat, the Homes Act is key to making sure rented properties are safe and comfortable for tenants. Once landlords understand this piece of legislation and Building Regulations covering ventilation, it’s much easier to know who to approach for guidance.

It will also help to ensure the products specified are compliant, so you can rest easy knowing you’ve fulfilled your obligations. To help navigate these changes and the potential solutions, we’ve developed a CPD accredited training course.

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