Documents to download

The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill is a private member’s bill introduced in the House of Commons by Karen Buck (Labour MP for Westminster North) and sponsored in the House of Lords by Lord Best (Crossbench). With government support, the bill completed its third reading in the House of Commons on 26 October 2018. The bill received its first reading in the House of Lords on 29 October 2018 and is scheduled for second reading on 23 November 2018. 

The bill seeks to improve the standard of housing in the private and social rented sectors by giving tenants the right to take direct legal action to require their landlord to rectify a defective property. Data from the English Housing Survey in 2016 found a fifth of dwellings did not meet the decent homes standard, with the highest rates of failure in the private rented sector. The bill would amend the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 to make provision for an implied covenant by the landlord that the property is fit for human habitation at the date the lease is granted and for the duration of the term of the lease. The bill would also amend the definition of fitness for human habitation in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 to apply the housing health and safety rating system prescribed under section 2 of the Housing Act 2004. If the landlord fails to maintain the property in a fit state, the tenant would have the right to take direct legal action for breach of contract. 

This briefing summarises the bill’s provisions, the current regulations on housing standards, and the bill’s House of Commons stages. 


Documents to download

Related posts

  • Supply of affordable housing

    Affordable housing accounted for 27 percent of all new additions to the housing stock in England in 2022/23. In recent years, the government has introduced several initiatives to increase the supply of affordable housing. This includes launching the first homes scheme, which seeks to assist first-time buyers and key workers in purchasing properties at discounted rates. However, some housing stakeholders have called on the government to provide further funding towards the construction of affordable homes.

    Supply of affordable housing
  • Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill: HL Bill 50 of 2023–24

    The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill would make long-term changes to the residential leasehold property system in England and Wales. The reforms are intended to improve homeownership for leaseholders by “empowering” them and “improving their consumer rights”. It is the second part of the government’s legislative package to deliver on its commitments on leasehold reform.

    Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill: HL Bill 50 of 2023–24
  • Housing needs of young people

    The number of young adults who own a home in the UK has fallen in recent decades. More families in England and Wales had adult children living with them in 2021 compared to 10 years earlier. Barriers to home ownership included increased property prices relative to incomes. Think tanks have considered whether alternative housing policies would help more young people get onto the property ladder. The government has also introduced various schemes aimed at supporting home ownership.

    Housing needs of young people