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Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill (HL Bill 139)

A

BILL

TO

Amend the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 to require that residential rented
accommodation is provided and maintained in a state of fitness for human
habitation; and for connected purposes.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Fitness for human habitation

(1) The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 is amended in accordance with subsections
(2) to (5).

(2) In section 8 (implied terms as to fitness for human habitation)—

(a) 5in the heading, after “habitation” insert “: Wales”;

(b) in subsection (1), after “house”, in the first place it occurs, insert “in
Wales”.

(3) After section 9 (application of section 8 to certain houses occupied by
agricultural workers) insert—

9A 10Fitness for human habitation of dwellings in England

(1) In a lease to which this section applies of a dwelling in England (see
section 9B), there is implied a covenant by the lessor that the dwelling—

(a) is fit for human habitation at the time the lease is granted or
otherwise created or, if later, at the beginning of the term of the
15lease, and

(b) will remain fit for human habitation during the term of the
lease.

(2) The implied covenant is not to be taken as requiring the lessor—

(a) to carry out works or repairs for which the lessee is liable by
20virtue of—

(i) the duty of the lessee to use the premises in a tenant-like
manner, or

Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) BillPage 2

(ii) an express covenant of the lessee of substantially the
same effect as that duty;

(b) to rebuild or reinstate the dwelling in the case of destruction or
damage by fire, storm, flood or other inevitable accident;

(c) 5to keep in repair or maintain anything which the lessee is
entitled to remove from the dwelling;

(d) to carry out works or repairs which, if carried out, would put
the lessor in breach of any obligation imposed by any enactment
(whenever passed or made);

(e) 10to carry out works or repairs requiring the consent of a superior
landlord or other third party in circumstances where consent
has not been obtained following reasonable endeavours to
obtain it.

(3) The implied covenant is also not to be taken as imposing on the lessor
15any liability in respect of the dwelling being unfit for human habitation
if the unfitness is wholly or mainly attributable to—

(a) the lessee’s own breach of covenant, or

(b) disrepair which the lessor is not obliged to make good because
of an exclusion or modification under section 12 (power of
20county court to authorise exclusions or modifications in leases
in respect of repairing obligations under section 11).

(4) Any provision of a lease or of any agreement relating to a lease
(whether made before or after the grant or creation of the lease) is void
to the extent that it purports—

(a) 25to exclude or limit the obligations of the lessor under the
implied covenant, or

(b) to authorise any forfeiture or impose on the lessee any penalty,
disability or obligation in the event of the lessee enforcing or
relying upon those obligations.

(5) 30Where in any proceedings before a court it is alleged that a lessor is in
breach of an obligation under the implied covenant, the court may
order specific performance of the obligation (regardless of any
equitable rule restricting the scope of that remedy).

(6) Where a lease to which this section applies of a dwelling in England
35forms part only of a building, the implied covenant has effect as if the
reference to the dwelling in subsection (1) included a reference to any
common parts of the building in which the lessor has an estate or
interest.

(7) In a lease to which this section applies of a dwelling in England, there
40is also implied a covenant by the lessee that the lessor, or a person
authorised in writing by the lessor, may enter the dwelling for the
purpose of viewing its condition and state of repair.

(8) The covenant implied by subsection (7) requires entry to the dwelling
to be permitted—

(a) 45only at reasonable times of the day, and

(b) only if at least 24 hours’ notice in writing has been given to the
occupier of the dwelling.

(9) In this section—

    Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) BillPage 3

  • “common parts” has the meaning given by section 60(1) of the
    Landlord and Tenant Act 1987;

  • “lease” does not include a mortgage term;

  • “lessee” means the person for the time being entitled to the term of
    5a lease;

  • “lessor” means the person for the time being entitled to the
    reversion expectant on a lease.

9B Leases to which section 9A applies

(1) Section 9A applies to a lease under which a dwelling is let wholly or
10mainly for human habitation if either of the following applies—

(a) the lease is for a term of less than 7 years, or

(b) the lease is of a kind mentioned in subsection (1A) or (1AB) of
section 13 (leases to which section 11 applies: secure, assured or
introductory tenancies for fixed term of 7 years or more).

15This is subject as follows.

(2) Section 9A does not apply to any lease of a kind mentioned in section
14 (exceptions for leases to which section 11 applies).

(3) Except as mentioned in subsections (4), (5) and (6), section 9A does not
apply to a lease granted—

(a) 20before the commencement date, or

(b) on or after that date in pursuance of an agreement entered into,
or an order of a court made, before the commencement date.

(4) Section 9A applies to a periodic or secure tenancy that is in existence on
the commencement date, but in the case of any such tenancy the
25covenant implied by that section has effect in the following way—

(a) subsection (1)(a) of that section has effect as if the reference to
the later of the times there mentioned were a reference to the
time that begins at the end of the period of 12 months beginning
with the commencement date, and

(b) 30subsection (1)(b) of that section has effect only in respect of
times falling after the end of that 12 month period.

(5) Section 9A applies to a periodic or secure tenancy that comes into
existence after the commencement date on expiry of a term of a lease
granted before that date.

(6) 35Section 9A applies to a lease for a fixed term which—

(a) is granted or renewed before the commencement date, and

(b) is renewed for a further fixed term on or after that date,

and for this purpose the renewal on or after the commencement date is
to be treated as a grant of the lease on or after that date.

(7) 40For the purposes of subsection (1) it is immaterial—

(a) whether the dwelling is to be occupied under the lease or under
an inferior lease derived out of it, or

(b) that the lease also demises other property (which may consist of
or include one or more other dwellings).

(8) 45In determining for the purposes of subsection (1)(a) whether a lease is
for a term of less than 7 years—

Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) BillPage 4

(a) any part of the term falling before the grant or creation is to be
ignored and the lease is to be treated as a lease for a term
commencing with the grant or creation;

(b) a lease which is determinable at the option of the lessor before
5the expiry of 7 years from the commencement of the term is to
be treated as a lease for a term of less than 7 years;

(c) a lease (other than one to which paragraph (b) applies) is not to
be treated as a lease for a term of less than 7 years if it confers on
the lessee an option for renewal for a term which, together with
10the original term, amounts to 7 years or more.

(9) In this section—

  • “the commencement date” means the date on which the Homes
    (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 comes into force;

  • “lease”, “lessee” and “lessor” have the same meanings as in section
    159A;

  • “secure tenancy” has the meaning given by section 79 of the
    Housing Act 1985.

9C Application of section 9A to certain dwellings occupied by
agricultural workers

(1) 20This section applies where under a contract of employment of a worker
employed in agriculture —

(a) the provision of a dwelling for the worker’s occupation forms
part of the worker’s remuneration, and

(b) the provisions of section 9A (implied term as to fitness for
25human habitation) are inapplicable by reason only of the
dwelling not being let to the worker.

(2) There is implied as part of the contract of employment (in spite of any
stipulation to the contrary) a term having the same effect as the
covenant that would be implied by section 9A if the dwelling were let
30by a lease to which that section applies.

(3) The provisions of section 9A apply accordingly—

(a) with the substitution of “employer” and “employee” for “lessor”
and “lessee”, and

(b) with such other modifications as may be necessary.

(4) 35This section does not affect—

(a) any obligation of a person other than the employer to repair a
dwelling to which the covenant implied by section 9A applies
by virtue of this section, or

(b) any remedy for enforcing such an obligation.”

(4) 40In section 10 (fitness for human habitation)—

(a) the existing text becomes subsection (1);

(b) in that subsection—

(i) after “house”, in both places where it occurs, insert “or
dwelling”;

(ii) 45after “facilities for preparation and cooking of food and for the
disposal of waste water” insert—

  • “in relation to a dwelling in England, any
    prescribed hazard;”;

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(c) after that subsection insert—

(2) In subsection (1) “prescribed hazard” means any matter or
circumstance amounting to a hazard for the time being
prescribed in regulations made by the Secretary of State under
5section 2 of the Housing Act 2004.

(3) The definition of “hazard” in section 2(1) of the Housing Act
2004 applies for the purposes of subsection (2) as though the
reference to a potential occupier were omitted.”

(5) In section 39 (index of defined expressions), after the entry in the list for “lease,
10lessee and lessor (generally)” insert—

“(in the provisions relating to
fitness for human habitation of
dwellings in England)
section
9A(9)”.

(6) In section 302 of the Housing Act 1985 (management and repair of houses
15acquired under section 300 or retained under section 301), in paragraph (c)—

(a) for “section 8” substitute “sections 8 and 9A”, and

(b) for “does” substitute “do”.

2 Extent, commencement and short title

(1) This Act extends to England and Wales.

(2) 20This Act comes into force at the end of the period of three months beginning
with the day on which it is passed.

(3) This Act may be cited as the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018.