Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill

Are you a Landlord offering rented accommodation in Sheffield? Here’s an update on the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill that you need to be aware of. 

This article has been published to make landlords aware of some new rules that are being prepared which may come into effect in the near future.


There is a Private Members Bill introduced on housing fitness which is set to return to the House of Commons for its Report Stage on 26th October 2018. The Bill is seeking to amend the relevant sections of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. It seeks to modernise the fitness for habitation test and has cross-party support.

What does this mean?

The Bill proposes to create a new duty on all residential landlords to ensure their property is fit for human habitation at the beginning of the tenancy and throughout.

Tenants will have the right to take legal action if landlords fail to keep properties in a state that is fit for human habitation.

The areas the Bill will seek to cover are:

  • Drainage & Sanitary Conveniences
  • Facilities for the Disposal of Waste Water
  • Facilities for the Preparation & Cooking of Food
  • Freedom from Damp
  • Internal Arrangement
  • Natural Lighting
  • Repair
  • Stability
  • Ventilation
  • Water Supply

Why is there a need for the Bill?

There have been longstanding concerns about property standards. The 2016/17 English Housing Survey (EHS) found that 38% of private renters lived in poor housing. This has given rise to putting together greater emphasis on improving upon the quality of rented acommodation throughout the country.

Where can I get help?

At Nicholas Humphreys (Sheffield – Broomhill & Crookes), we specialise in helping landlords rent their properties to students and working professionals.

We can provide you expert advice on renting your property and can help you keep up to date with changes in legislation, meaning that you and your property always remain compliant.

Whether you are an experienced landlord, just entered the buy-to-let market or are thinking about investing in a rental property, it makes good sense to contact us and see how we can help you.

Some useful tips on how to deal with damp and mould inside your rental property.

Is your rental property suffering from damp & mould? Don’t ignore the situation. Know your responsibilities and act now.

DAMP & MOULD – Important things every good landlord needs to know.

As the nights get colder and the weather begins to turn, the threat of damp and mould up and down the country grows.


The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill is due to be passed in the near future and, as the Human Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) will be its main arbiter of deciding when a home is fit or unfit for human habitation. There is much more responsibility on landlords than ever before!

Not only is it unpleasant to live with, but it can cause all manner of health problems if left unchecked and leave you open to legal action from a­ffected tenants.

There are 3 types of damp:

  1. Condensation
  2. Penetrating Damp; and
  3. Rising Damp

If left untreated, damp can be harmful causing significant effects on breathing & respiratory problems, allergic reactions and weakened immune systems.


  • Always respond immediately to any incidents reported by your tenant. You are legally obliged to respond within 14 days of being notified.
  • Ascertain which type of damp you are dealing with.
  • If the mould or damp has resulted from a structural issue such as a leaking pipe or faulty guttering, you have an obligation to resolve the issue within a reasonable time frame.


Prevention is better than cure. Take time to provide useful information to your tenants about their roles & responsibilities on how to prevent the spread of damp and mould. Simple things like:

  • Ensure that the property is well-ventilated
  • Ensure that they do not dry clothing indoors (or if they do, keep a window or two open)
  • Ensure that the property is evenly and adequately heated
  • Ensure that all chimneys and other areas that allow for ventilation are left unblocked


At Nicholas Humphreys (Sheffield-Broomhill & Crookes), we understand the pressures landlords face every day whether it be related to renting empty properties, staying compliant throughout regulatory changes, health & safety and much more…

Contact us and ask how we can help you manage your property, remain compliant and look after one of your most valuable and precious assets.