Can I sue my landlord in the UK?

Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018

The new laws in the UK made it easier for tenants to file a complaint against their landlord. Here are the things that the tenants need to know (note that this applies to tenants living in England only):

  • If your tenancy agreement was signed before 20 March 2019, and you felt that your landlord failed to provide you with a safe and healthy living environment, then you can use Homes Act 2018 to sue your him/her.
  • As of March 2020, everyone that has a secure tenancy agreement or statutory tenancy can use Homes Act 2018 (this is regardless of when their tenancy began).
  • Tenants can sue landlords over a variety of issues, some examples are:
    • The house is already cold and damp.
    • The landlord failed to carry out necessary repairs or maintenance.
    • Mould growth.

Under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, the responsibility of investigating living conditions was given to the local authorities which cause the local councils to suffer from budget cuts and staffing issues. This is the reason why some landlords are free to skimp the cost of repair and maintenance of their house, leaving tenants to deal with the consequences.

Under Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, the landlord must be accountable for the houses that they are renting out. They need to make sure that the property is fit to live in, they have to maintain:

  • ventilation;
  • damp;
  • cold; and
  • other issues that go beyond just repair.

Reasons to sue your landlord

These are some common areas that the landlords must pay attention to:

  • Unstable or bad building condition.
  • The spread of damp and mould.
  • Unhygienic cooking area.
  • Serious plumbing issues.
  • Excessive cold or heat.
  • Exposure to asbestos, carbon monoxide or other chemicals.
  • Radiation from gas or leaking appliances.
  • Security issues.
  • Hazardous bath or shower conditions
  • Electric and fire hazards.
  • Deposit protection.

Read more about Getting your deposit back from your landlord in the UK for more details.

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