Briefing - Housing and Planning Bill: Fitness for human habitation

By: Caroline Aliwell  Published: December 2015


This briefing outlines Shelter’s support for a new clause on fitness for human habitation as part of the Housing and Planning Bill 2015. The briefing has been produced ahead of the Bill Committee’s discussion of new clauses as part of the Bill.

Summary

Government are currently taking the Housing and Planning Bill 2015 through parliament. The Bill is an opportunity to help millions of renters living in properties with poor conditions take action against landlords that let out properties in an unfit condition. 

This briefing outlines the case for introducing a new clause to the Bill, which would require privately rented properties to be fit for human habitation at the start of a tenancy and throughout the tenancy.

Changing the law will empower renters to take action to improve conditions, and free up under resourced councils to tackle the very worst conditions in the sector. Under the current system, if a renter spots a problem but has a landlord who refuses to do anything about it, they cannot take legal action without their local council carrying out an assessment of the property. Updating this law will mean renters can challenge their landlord if they let a property in an unfit condition, without their local authority being involved.

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