Are You Ready For The Homes Fitness for Human Habitation Bill?
Did you know? Statistics show that there are up to 3 million people living in rented homes in England which contain “Category 1” hazards, that are considered as posing ‘serious and immediate risk’ to a person’s health and safety.
No… we didn’t either! With this astonishing statistic coming to light of landlords and agents, the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill has been announced by the government that could hugely improve the lives of many people in England currently renting. It’s time to act now!
The bill’s report stage in the House of Commons is scheduled to take place on 26 October 2018 which seeks to amend the Landlord and Tenant Act. If it becomes law it will mean that all landlords must ensure that their property is fit for human habitation throughout the tenancy. Where this is not done, the tenant will have the right to take legal action for breach of contract that the property is unfit for human habitation.
With these recent regulations and the pressures changing so frequently for landlords it’s never been a better time to assess your current letting agency or even start to consider using one. When deciding your property management choice, picking an agency that’s a membership of an organisation such as the ARLA should be a main factor. Using an agent that has full understanding and a wealth of experience in dealing with deposit schemes, new laws and regulations will ensure your legal requirements are taken care of and that your property adheres to them.
At Lime Property, not only do we cover all of the legal management of your property but we’re able to find the most suitable tenants through an extensive screening and referencing process. We’re able to recognise the common signs of potentially troublesome tenants combined with regular property checks to ensure your property is being looked after and to save you problems further down the line.
We’ve recently introduced FixFlo, a brand-new maintenance report system, to the list of benefits of choosing Lime Property, so as a landlord you can be assured that any maintenance issues will be dealt with and managed completely by us.
Fixflo allows us to filter out issues which are the occupier’s responsibility, it also provides useful tools and advice for tenants. The guided advice it provides, gives owners better asset protection, taking steps to advise tenants thoroughly in order to prevent costly damage to a property.
Using property software like Fixflo helps us prove that you have met the legal requirements once the Bill becomes law. For example, with Fixflo tenants can report repairs online and include proof such as photos and videos to show the problem. This immediately creates the first step of the audit trail that might be needed to prove that the problem has been resolved. Automatic time and date-stamping on all communications means that the process of events is indisputable.
An example of when FixFlo will be used is if a property has a leaking water pipe. If the tenant has access to Fixflo they will know how to immediately report their problem through the online portal. Plus, Fixflo’s in-built guidance will show them how to turn the water off at the stopcock which will help to reduce the damage caused. With Fixflo, we can also upload details of trusted and insured contractors which can be instructed automatically in an emergency. This thereby ensures that issues are resolved quickly and efficiently preventing the property from ever becoming unfit for human habitation.
The bill will undoubtedly improve living standards for tenants but for landlords its time to start preparing now! If you’re looking for more information about renting your property or would like some advice on how you can prepare for The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill contact us today on 01482 216060.