Tenants can now sue landlords if they don't sort out damp in their properties

12 February 2019, 10:28 | Updated: 12 February 2019, 11:10

The law will come into force in March 2019
The law will come into force in March 2019. Picture: Getty

By Polly Foreman

According to charity Shelter, there are around 1million rented homes that pose a health and safety risk

Tenants may soon be able to take their landlords to court over damp and mould in homes, under a new law due to take force in March.

The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act will amend the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, which made it up to over-stretched local authorities to investigate conditions in homes. The amendment will make the landlords accountable, according to Shelter.

Mould and damp in homes will soon be the landlord's responsibility (stock image)
Mould and damp in homes will soon be the landlord's responsibility (stock image). Picture: Getty

The law is set to be introduced on 20 March, and will effectively mean landlords will have to ensure that their properties meet certain standards.

Read more: Rent is set to INCREASE after letting fees are scrapped

According the Shelter, the new law will make sure that damp caused by design defects will be a landlord's responsibility. Infestations of rodents, insects and bed bugs will also fall within this bracket.

This means that it will be up to the landlord to fix these problems - and if they don't, the tenant will have the right to take them to court.

The new law will mean that landlords also have to sort out infestations - such as bedbugs - in homes (stock image)
The new law will mean that landlords also have to sort out infestations - such as bedbugs - in homes (stock image). Picture: Getty

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter said, according to The Sun: “The Fitness for Human Habitation Act will give all types of renters the power they need to tackle bad conditions – which is why Shelter campaigned hard for it to be passed as law.

“With more and more families renting privately, we desperately need more protections and security for renters.

"The Act will help enforce best practice for landlords and agents, act as a deterrent for bad behaviour, and provide a legal lever for renters to pull if their landlord isn’t complying.”

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