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Is your home fit to live in?

Landlords have responsibilities to make sure their properties are fit for people to live in.

A rented home is unfit to live in when conditions or safety issues are so bad that it's not reasonable for you to live there.

This could be because the poor conditions:

  • affect your health seriously

  • put you at risk of physical harm or injury

  • mean you cannot make full use of your home

Landlords must make sure your home is fit to live in throughout your tenancy.

What makes a home unfit

Examples of things that could make a home unfit include:

Your home is only unfit if the problems in the property make it unsuitable to live there.

Which tenancies are covered

The rule that a rented home is fit to live in applies to most tenancies regardless of when they started.

This includes if you rent from:

  • the council

  • a housing association

  • a private landlord or letting agent

You were covered straight away if your tenancy started after 19 March 2019 or:

  • you signed a new fixed term agreement

  • your tenancy became 'periodic' (rolling)

If you had a periodic or secure tenancy from before that date, the new rules applied from 20 March 2020.

Lodgers, temporary housing and licence agreements

If you have a licence agreement rather than a tenancy you will not be covered by the fitness rules.

You probably have a licence if you're:

  • in temporary housing or a hostel

  • a lodger who lives with your landlord

What you can do if your home is unfit

You can take court action if you think your home is unfit to live in.

The court could order your landlord to:

  • carry out any work needed

  • pay you compensation

Last updated: 21 July 2022

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