New Clause 52 — Implied term of fitness for human habitation in residential lettings

Housing and Planning Bill — [2nd Allocated Day] – in the House of Commons at 4:45 pm on 12th January 2016.

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‘(1) Section 8 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (c.70) is amended as follows.

(2) Leave out subsection (3) and insert—

“(3) Subject to subsection (7), this section applies to any tenancy or licence under which a dwelling house is let wholly or mainly for human habitation.”

(3) Leave out subsections (4) to (6).

(4) After subsection (3), insert—

“(3ZA) Subsection 1 does not apply where the condition of the dwelling-house or common parts is due to—

(a) a breach by the tenant of the duty to use the dwelling-house in a tenant-like manner, or often express term of the tenancy to the same effect; or

(b) damage by fire, flood, tempest or other natural cause or inevitable accident.

(3ZB) Subsection 1 shall not require the landlord or licensor of the dwelling house to carry out works—

(a) which would contravene any statutory obligation or restriction; or

(b) which require the consent of a superior landlord, provided that such consent has been refused and the landlord or licensor has no right of action on the basis that such refusal of consent is unreasonable.

(3ZC) Any provision of or relating to a tenancy or licence is void insofar as it purports—

(a) to exclude or limit the obligations of the landlord or licensor under this section; or

(b) to permit any forfeiture or impose on the tenant or licensee any penalty or disadvantage in the event of his seeking to enforce the obligation under subsection (1).

(3ZD) Regulations may make provision for the exclusion of certain classes of letting from subsection (1).

(3ZE) In this section “house” has the same meaning as “dwelling house” and includes—

(a) a part of a house, and

(b) any yard, garden, outhouses and appurtenances belonging to the house or usually enjoyed with it.”

(5) In section 10 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, after “waste water”, insert—

(6) Regulations may make provision for guidance as to the operation of the matters set out in section 10 which are relevant to the assessment of fitness for human habitation.

(7) This section shall come into force—

(a) in England at the end of the period of three months from the date on which this Act receives Royal Assent and shall apply to all tenancies licences and agreements for letting made on or after that date; and

(b) in Wales on a date to be appointed by the Welsh Ministers.”’—(Teresa Pearce.)

This new Clause would place a duty on landlords to ensure that their properties are fit for habitation when let and remain fit during the course of the tenancy.

Brought up, and read the First time.

Question put, That the clause be read a Second time.

The House divided:

Ayes 219, Noes 312.

Division number 162

See full list of votes (From The Public Whip)

Aye

No

Question accordingly negatived.

More than four hours having elapsed since the commencement of proceedings on consideration, the proceedings were interrupted (Programme Order, 5 January).

The Speaker put forthwith the Questions necessary for the disposal of the business to be concluded at that time (Standing Order No. 83E).