New act to ensure rented homes are habitable

Damage caused by damp on a wall in modern house

The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 became law last month ensuring landlords maintain better ventilation.

The act forces private landlords to ensure their properties are fit for people to live in, addressing issues including repairs, freedom from damp and ventilation.

Hudson Lambert, managing director of damp-proofing firm Safeguard Europe welcomed the introduction of the act.

“It is unacceptable that people are still living in sub-standard homes,” he says. “Damp is a huge problem, with links to respiratory problems like asthma firmly established, but it doesn’t have to be. The knowledge and technology exist to treat damp in all its guises.”

The English Housing Survey (EHS) 2017-2018 reported that in 2017 nearly 900,000 homes – or 4% of homes in England – had problems with damp and 2% had problems with condensation and mould.

Survey data showed little or no improvement since 2011.

Research by the National Union of Students published in February 2019 found that 35% of students were living in rented accommodation with damp and mould. Research by Ipsos MORI, conducted on behalf of the Energy Savings Trust in 2014, found that 37% of all homes had problems with condensation and 28% had mould, with the Trust commenting that these percentages were higher among renters.