If you downloaded our recent eBook, 10 Tips to Avoid Risk in Your Lettings Agency, you'd have seen us mention the impending Fitness for Human Habitation Bill as something you need to be aware of throughout 2018 and beyond.
The Bill is almost certain to be passed and could become an Act before the end of the year due to its widespread support from both sides of the House of Commons. In the main, it aims to define the idea of a rental property being "fit for human habitation" and gives tenants the right to legally force landlords who are not providing them with a property fit for human habitation to bring the property up to standard.
The Bill's new success is largely down to the shockwave sent through the country after the Grenfell Tower disaster, where the Conservative government was criticised for its perceived neglect and poor response. Perhaps feeling as though it had to react in some way, the government has subsequently thrown its support behind a Bill it had previously rejected, and it is unlikely that any delays will affect its passage through Parliament.
So what do lettings agents and property managers need to know about it before it's passed? Do they need to prepare for it?
In theory, no - the Fitness for Human Habitation Bill won't hold lettings agents or property managers responsible for letting or managing properties which aren't fit for human habitation, but they should still be vigilant. Managing a property in which nothing is safe or works is naturally going to be a time-consuming task, and this will significantly affect any property management business. Additionally, letting a property which is patently unsafe could be a nigh-on impossible task that yields no profit - though not, perhaps, if you operate in London. There are no advantages to dealing with homes that are not fit for human habitation, so ensure that you're up to date with the legislation and what it entails for your landlords.
You can download our quick guide to the Bill for free by clicking on the link below - if you have anything to add, please get in touch, we'd love to hear from you!