When properties are rented for 7 year or less, during that time landlords (and their letting agents) are required by common law to ensure the safety of their property and its contents, so that no injury or damage is caused to the occupants, neighbours or to the public.

So, the properties must be gas safe, smoke and carbon monoxide safe, and electrically safe and even if such obligations are not contained within the tenancy agreement they are implied by the statutory obligation under s11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (repairing obligations in short leases).

The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 creates a new duty on all residential landlords under s10 of the Act (repair, stability, freedom from damp, internal arrangement, natural lighting, ventilation, water supply, drainage and sanitary conveniences) by implying a covenant (promise) into a residential tenancy to ensure that the property is ‘fit for human habitation’ at the beginning of the tenancy and throughout. The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 defines the term by stating that a property is to be regarded as unfit for human habitation if it is “so far defective in one or more of those matters that it is not reasonably suitable for occupation in that condition”.

There should always be a repairs procedure in place and access must be arranged as per s11(ss6) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.





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