The new Fitness for Human Habitation Act 2018 is something we at Garness Jones Residential certainly welcome – but is a change in law which should not impact on responsible landlords who want to protect their investments.
The law has been introduced to help tenants of less than seven years in England and Wales who have continuing issues within their homes and struggle to get their landlord to do anything about the issues they raise.
We appreciate this is certainly a problem for many renters, but feel it is perhaps more of a common problem when renting directly off an individual landlord and not through a dedicated and specialist letting agency.
Of course, a property which has persistent problems with damp, mould or poor drainage can be made to look perfect by a landlord in preparation for a viewing to secure a new tenant and another monthly rental income.
However, the key to being a successful landlord in the long term is ensuring that all properties are in a suitable condition both at the beginning and throughout the tenancies.
Ensuring this is the case is a vital part of the work we do at Garness Jones Residential when acting on behalf of landlords.
It is an essential service which we provide for both the landlords we represent and their tenants.
It is also incredibly important for us as we strive to ensure the properties we promote and manage are of the highest quality at all times.
Regular property inspections can help maintain standards
As part of our basic service to landlords we carry out annual inspections of their properties to ensure they are being maintained to a good standard by tenants.
We also offer more regular inspections and risk assessments should landlords have any particular concerns.
Our team also takes a proactive approach with regards to making tenants aware of how they can prevent problems arising, providing advice such as how they can best look after their homes and prevent the development of condensation and mould.
In essence, both landlord and tenant have a role to play, and we would certainly advise any person in rented accommodation who has concerns to firstly approach their landlord directly to discuss the matter before seeking legal action.
If there is a lettings agency involved, it is best to go through them to tackle any problems, as a respectable agency should make sure such concerns are raised with the landlord speedily, and crucially then pursued to ensure changes are made.
There may be new laws in place, but essentially landlords who look after their portfolio and look after their tenants have little to worry about.
Those who fail to keep a property fit for human habitation will face more serious consequences though, and that is a step in the right direction for all.