Improving Housing Conditions in the Private and Social Rented Sectors: The Homes (Fit for Human Habitation) Act 2018 ‐ Fit for Habitation but Fit for Purpose?

Chris Bevan


The Homes (Fit for Human Habitation) Act 2018 became law in December 2018 and entered into force on 20 March 2019. This article examines the key provisions of this significant piece of housing legislation which has the potential to transform the lives of those renting homes in both the private and social sectors in England. The 2018 Act, through amendment to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, introduces a new obligation on landlords to ensure their residential properties are fit for human habitation and, for the first time in this jurisdiction, endows tenants with new civil rights to directly enforce this implied covenant against failing landlords. This article identifies the key deficiencies within the current legal framework around fitness for human habitation and explores how far the 2018 Act meets these challenges; set against the febrile backdrop of an acute housing crisis and the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Published September 2019
Frequency Bi-Monthly
Volume 82
Issue 5
Print ISSN 0026-7961
Online ISSN 1468-2230