Article Posted -
11 Oct 2017

Wales

The Welsh Government has launched a consultation on draft regulations and guidance to implement the Fitness for Human Habitation requirements for rented properties introduced by the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016.

You can read the consultation in full here – responses are invited until 12th January 2018.

Under Section 91 of the Act, landlords must ensure that their properties are “fit for human habitation” both at the start and for the full duration of a tenancy (now called "contracts").

This consultation sets out the draft regulations and guidance that defines what constitutes “fit for human habitation”. In determining whether a property is fit for human habitation, regard will be given to 29 matters and circumstances:

  1. Damp and mould growth
  2. Asbestos and manufactured mineral fibres
  3. Biocides
  4. Carbon monoxide and fuel combustion products
  5. Lead
  6. Radiation
  7. Uncombusted fuel gas
  8. Volatile organic compounds
  9. Electrical hazards
  10. Excess cold
  11. Excess heat
  12. Crowding and space
  13. Entry by intruders
  14. Lighting (including natural)
  15. Noise
  16. Domestic hygiene, pests and refuse
  17. Food safety
  18. Personal hygiene, sanitation and drainage
  19. Water supply for domestic purposes
  20. Falls associated with baths etc.
  21. Falls on the level
  22. Falls associated with stairs and steps
  23. Falls between levels
  24. Fire
  25. Hot surfaces and materials
  26. Collision and entrapment
  27. Explosions
  28. Position and operability of amenities
  29. Structural collapse and falling elements

On top of this, there will be three specific requirements imposed on landlords, and if they are not met then the property will be deemed unfit for human habitation:

  1. Smoke alarms on every floor used as living accommodation
  2. Carbon monoxide detectors in any room which has a gas, oil or solid fuel burning appliance installed
  3. Electrical safety testing at least every 5 years

Where a tenant believes their dwelling is not fit for human habitation, they may take court proceedings against the landlord for breach of contract. Such proceedings may result in an order for specific action to remedy the problem and/or an order for compensation.

A landlord who rents a dwelling which is not fit for human habitation, or who fails to rectify an issue causing the dwelling to be unfit, may also risk having their landlord licence revoked under Rent Smart Wales.

It is important to note that the existing duties under the Housing Act 2004 regarding HHSRS enforcement remain and will not be altered by the new Fit for Human Habitation requirement.

You can read the consultation in full here – responses are invited until 12th January 2018.

 

 

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