The Reintroduction of Fitness for Human Habitation test
RENTING HOMES (WALES) ACT 2016
The Reintroduction of Fitness for Human Habitation test – 15th July 2022!
The Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 sets outs the obligations placed on a landlord with regard to the condition of a dwelling.
The Act applies to all occupation contracts made for a term of less than seven years.
Properties must be compliant with the fitness for human habitation test from 15th July 2022.
A landlord must ensure a dwelling is both in repair and fit for human habitation (FFHH) not only. at the start of but during the length of the occupation contract.
A court will consider each particular case on its own merit.
A landlord who has concerns about the fitness of a dwelling is advised to seek professional advice before issuing an occupation contract.
Landlord’s obligation to keep the dwelling in repair
The property must be kept in repair and a landlord has a legal obligation to ensure that :
- the structure and exterior of the dwelling (including drains, gutters and external pipes), and
- the service installations in the dwelling, such as those:
- for the supply of water, gas or electricity,
- for sanitation, and
- for space heating or for heating water
are kept in a repair!!!
As soon as the landlord is aware that repairs are required THEY MUST BE CARRIED OUT TO A REASONABLE STANDARD!.
The landlord must make good any damage resulting from the repairs.
The landlord cannot place any obligation on the contract-holder regarding the repairs, for example contributing to the cost, where the repair is not the fault of the contract-holder.
The Renting Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) (Wales) Regulations 2022 (senedd.wales) sets out the 29 matters and circumstances when determining whether a property is FFHH.
Part 1 of the guidance addresses each of the 29 matters and circumstances listed under the Schedule to the FFHH Regulations. The fitness test is determined by having regard to the 29 matters.
Part 2 of this guidance deals with specific requirements placed on the landlord as part of the FFHH Regulations, in order to help ensure that some of the 29 matters and circumstances do not arise.
Landlords should already be familiar with the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).
These regulations detail the hazards associated with a risk of harm.
It is important to note that irrespective of whether a hazard as set out in Schedule 1 to the HHSRS Regulations exists is not a pre-determination of whether a dwelling is unfit for human habitation.
Here at MLS we are regularly instructed by landlords to advise on compliance and possession claims. If you have any questions please contact us on 01244 478 730 and we will be happy to help.
This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please contact us for advice.