Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 – passed today

20 December 2018

The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 passed all its Parliamentary stages yesterday (19th December 2018) and has been given Royal Assent today (20th December 2018). It will therefore come into force in March 2019.

James Stark from Garden Court North Chambers commented that: “This is a very welcome sea change in disrepair cases – lots of cases, which previously were not actionable as they did not amount to disrepair of the structure and exterior will now be within the new implied covenant for fitness. At present however although the LASPO review is ongoing there is no sign that claims under the new implied covenant are going to be in scope for legal aid other than in cases currently covered by Schedule 1 Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.”

Chambers congratulates Karen Buck MP for getting her opposition Private Member’s Bill through Parliament and all those who helped her, in particular Giles Peaker of Anthony Gold Solicitors and Justin Bates of 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square.

The Act will benefit many of the 2.5 million people living with, amongst other problems, fire safety issues, inadequate heating, or poor ventilation causing condensation and mould growth. Although it is difficult to put an exact figure on it, this has a significant social and economic cost as, for example, children living in poor accommodation struggle to prepare for exams, people become ill and require NHS treatment due to damp, and, in the worst cases (such as the Grenfell Tower disaster), many lives are lost.

For more analysis regarding this Act please read Andrew Byles’ article, which was published at the beginning of 2018. Chambers’ Housing Team will be running a seminar on the Act early next year and details will be published on our Seminars page in January 2019.

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