The recently introduced Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 – which came into force in March – potentially heralds a significant increase in tenant complaints against landlords whose properties fail to live up to ‘fitness’ standards according to new research from YouGov.
The findings of the YouGov poll, commissioned by damp-proofing experts Safeguard Europe, show that, in the light of the new legislation, 42% of renters are now more likely to complain about the condition of their homes.
The new 2018 Act supersedes the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 so that tenants can take landlords to court if their homes are not fit to live in. Although this was theoretically possible previously, it only applied where rents were £52 a month or less (£80 or less in London). The survey shows that not only do 71% of renters pay between £250 and £750 per month in rent; but also over half of them (51%) said that they had lived in homes with a damp problem.
Damp and mould is said to be the largest cause of tenant dissatisfaction with properties and experienced by 51% of renters: a figure rising to 55% in the private sector. Furthermore, 26% reported properties with little or no ventilation in areas of high humidity – a known factor in causing damp problems, especially those arising from condensation, in homes.