As of today 20th March 2020, all tenancies are to become subject to the provisions of the Fitness for Human Habitation Act.
This has been introduced to ensure agents and landlords maintain proper standards in rental properties. (This did come into effect last year but only for new tenancies; as of today, it will apply to ALL tenancies.)
There are now 29 separate categories that all landlords must ensure they comply with. If they do not comply, they will face penalties that range from compensation and rent repayment through to unlimited fines.
Tenants are able to take direct legal action against an agent or landlord, unlike previously, through the Environmental Health. For any unprepared landlords or agents, the risks are extremely high.
Some important things to note and think about as an agent or landlord
- Before fully marketing a property for rent, check each room, thoroughly, making a note of any potential breaches of the Act.
- An inventory is a must with every property as a high-quality inventory records the condition of the property in line with the act.
- Mid-term inventories are also crucial, and this should be repeated every six months, otherwise this leaves landlords extremely vulnerable.
- Damp is the main category that trips landlords up. Determining who is responsible is no longer as simple as it used to be. For example, a common issue is bathrooms: if a landlord fails to provide adequate ventilation and condensation forms as a result of the tenant using the shower, the landlord is still responsible for a breach. The root cause is the landlord’s failure to install ventilation!
- Water and testing for Legionnaires is something else landlords are responsible for and should be tested by someone qualified.
If you are a landlord and are in insure about any of these categories, please contact us to discuss. We provide several rental services packages – Full Management being our most popular service.