Being a landlord isn’t easy. There is a lot of pressure in providing rental accommodation to tenants, and a recent regulation change which allows tenants to sue landlords has caused concern for many landlords. The majority of landlords offer dependable and reliable service to tenants, but the potential for being used by tenants will be worrying for most landlords.
“We’re pleased to say we have helped many St Ives landlords”, said Thomas Morris St Ives Branch Manager Katy Poore. “We know how challenging your role can be at times, and we are keen to provide you with guidance and support as best we can. If you have questions about the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act, please get in touch, and we will be happy to help you.”
Be aware of recent regulations
The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation Act) came into effect in March 2019. The Act is the latest step by the Government to target rogue landlords. Most people in the lettings sector appreciate these steps are required, but there are concerns dependable landlords are being caught up in a rush to banish unreliable and rogue landlords. Therefore, landlords should make themselves aware of issues which could harm their business.
Some of the aspects landlords must look out for, in terms of their property being deemed uninhabitable for humans, include:
- The building is in poor condition
- The structure of the building being neglected
- Dampness in the property
- Instability at the building
- A lack of natural light in the rental property
- A lack of ventilation in the property
- Issues with hot and cold running water in the rental accommodation
- Problems which prevent tenants from cooking food or disposing of waste
Any of these problems can lead to tenants suing landlords for failing to offer rental housing of a suitable standard.
While tenants with a problem are advised to approach their landlord and request improvements, landlords should be aware that the matter can escalate quickly. Landlords should look to maintain a good level of communication and respect with tenants, and this will hopefully minimise the likelihood of problems arising.
The landlord isn’t always responsible for rental accommodation in poor condition
Of course, the landlord isn’t always responsible for the rental property being in bad condition. If the tenant or the tenant’s possessions has caused a deterioration of the property, the landlord will not be held responsible; the tenant will. If an “Act of God” has caused the issue, the landlord won’t be responsible. Similarly, if a landlord needs consent to carry out improvements but hasn’t been able to achieve this, they won’t be accountable for the standard of the property.
There are significant punishments for landlords who fail to provide a satisfactory rental property, so it is important landlords don’t dismiss the matter.
Letting your home is stressful, but with the right support, you can make the process easier. Book a valuation at a time that is of suitable to you or alternatively, you can phone our St Ives branch, managed by Katy Poore by calling us on 01480 468066.