Fitness for Human Habitation Bill

Fitness for Human Habitation

Secretary of State for Housing Sajid Javid has confirmed Government support for new legislation that will help ensure rented homes. are safe and give tenants the right to take legal action when landlords fail in their duties.

The Government’s support for Karen Buck’s Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards).

Bill gives it a greater chance of passing its Second Reading stage that takes place this Friday (19th).

However, it will still need at least 100 MPs to vote in support to ensure that it is not “talked out” by any backbench opposition.

Ms Buck previously attempted to introduce this Bill in 2015 but it lacked Government support and was talked out by Conservative backbench MPs.

Subsequent attempts to introduce the measures as amendments to the Housing & Planning Bill in 2016 also failed.

The Bill ensures:

that all landlords (both social and private sector) must ensure that their property is fit for human habitation at the beginning of the tenancy and throughout.

where a landlord fails to do so, the tenant has the right to take legal action in the courts for breach of contract on the grounds that the property is unfit for human habitation.

The Bill extends to England and Wales but will only apply to tenancies in England. The Welsh Government has already included similar provisions in relation to housing fitness in the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016.


If passed, the provisions will apply to all new tenancies granted after its commencement and to all periodic tenancies. after a period of 12 months from commencement.

The National Landlords Association (NLA) has given its support to the Bill and has previously met with Ms Buck. to discuss the details of the proposed legislation prior to the publication of the final version.