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New Fitness for Human Habitation Act in rental homes came into force this week.

'Bristol Res' Blog • 22 March 2019

New Fitness for Human Habitation Act in rental homes came into force this week.

A further piece of legislation concerning rental properties : the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 came into force this week.

The Act applies to all new tenancies and to exisiting tenancies as they extend or turn periodic. After 12 months all remaining tenancies will also automatically come under the umbrella of this act.

Essentially the purpose of the Act is to ensure that properties are fit for human habitation when tenants move into a property, and remain fit for human habitation during the course of the tenancy.

Landlords whose properties are dealt with by The Bristol Residential Letting Co have nothing to be concerned about as our experienced team uphold standards way above the minimum criteria laid down by this legislation.

The legislation specifically points out 29 hazards which need to be guarded against. These points can be found listed on page 3 of this FACTSHEET which has been produced by Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) as guidance for agents and landlords.   Landlords may also find it interesting to read page 4 where the guidance also clarifies what responsibilities fall to the tenant under the heading tenant-like manner.

Should a landlord fail to maintain their home this Act strengthens tenants’ means of redress and they will be able to take court action against the landlord.  Legal aid will be available for unfitness claims and the courts have the power to make the landlords remedy their properties and may order the landlord to pay compensation to the tenant.

 

Just lettings, just Bristol

 


 

Calls for wide-ranging reforms to leasehold law

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee has published a report into Leasehold Reform which calls for wide ranging reforms to tackle abuse of the leasehold system.

The report states that leaseholders, many of whom are buy to let landlords,  have been treated as “a source of steady profit” by developers and freeholders, rather than as homeowners or landlords, and calls on the Government to establish commonhold as the primary model of ownership of flats in England and Wales.
The report makes a series of recommendations to Government, which include:

  • Establish Commonhold as the primary model of ownership of flats.
  • Investigate mis-selling in the leasehold sector and make recommendations for compensation.
  • Developers prohibited from offering financial incentives to customers to use a particular solicitor
  • Ground rents limited to 0.1% of a property’s value, never higher than £250 or linked to RPI.
  • Ground rents on newly established leases to be set at a peppercorn.
  • Legislation to restrict onerous permission fees in existing leases

Leasehold reform campaigner Louie Burns said ‘ This report is welcome news.  For years we have been calling for reforms that will limit ground rents, tackle unfair service charges and permission fees, outlaw the sale of leasehold houses and the mis-selling of leasehold properties, and address the systemic imbalances of power that have favoured freeholders’ interests for far too long.’

 

Just lettings, just Bristol

 


 

Latest blue print for the future of Bristol

Bristol Mayor, Marvin Rees,  launched the latest phase of the updated Local Plan, which sets out a vision for the future and earmarks sites for more than 33,500 homes to be built by 2036.

The 150 page document includes details of key regeneration sites; including Temple Quarter, St Philip’s Marsh, Cumberland Basin (or, as it’s now re-named, Western Harbour), ‘Frome Gateway’, Lawrence Hill, Fishponds, Bedminster, Lockleaze, Southmead and Brislington.

Launching the document in The Hub at Gainsborough Square in Lockleaze, one of the areas set to see an influx of new housing, the mayor said:

“This is really about putting the foundations in place to go forward and deliver at least 33,500 homes, which is really essential to the city’s wellbeing.
We want developers to come here and build houses, but we don’t want bad development because that costs money in the long run. No-one is coming here to smash and grab – we will resist that.”

The mayor revealed he has had frank conversations with government officials, arguing they need to back the council with “the sovereignty to make the plans we need for our city”.

The mayor concluded: “The Local Plan will help us to build a better Bristol and shape the city to meet the needs of the future – a city of hope and aspiration where everyone shares in its success.

“While building housing, particularly affordable homes, is one of our key priorities, this plan also looks to protect green spaces, promote business and the development of new work space, and tackle the health challenges faced by our city”

The draft Bristol Local Plan Review can be viewed here

Just lettings, just Bristol