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Fitness for Human Habitation is go!


The Homes (Fitness for Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill passed second reading on 19 January, with a unanimous vote. The debate (interrupted by a Ministerial statement) is here and here.

Because I can’t resist, here are Karen Buck’s closing remarks and the vote. (Out of shot – me being ecstatic in the gallery)

The Bill will now go to committee – no fixed date yet – with a good following wind and cross party support. With luck, it might even be in force before the end of the year.

Remarkably, the Bill has public support from not only Shelter, Generation Rent, the CIEH, Mind, and Citizens Advice, but also the Residential Landlords Association, the National Landlords Association, the National Federation, and Association of Residential Letting Agents. So basically everybody.

Karen carried off a remarkable feat of campaigning, organising and political operating. For an opposition private member’s Bill to attract both shadow front bench and Government support is rarer than a hen with dental problems.

And I’d also like to thank Karen for her thanks. The Bill has been a pleasure to work on and working with Karen has been a joy. (After all, how many MPs get housing law?)


Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.


  1. Paul Herwin

    Well done, hopefully a historic moment.

  2. Felicity Thomas

    How fantastic. Bloody well done and thank you for all the work that went in to this so far and will no doubt still be demanded.

  3. Kathy Meade

    Is such good news and a heartening start to 2018 for all those tenants living with disrepair (in its new sense) and for us who have often been unable to assist them with pursuing a legal remedy. Such good work by you all.

    Can you tell me please if you have had any discussion about access to legal aid for tenants with ‘fit for habitation’ issues and how the new law might interact with the current scope requirements for ‘disrepair’ claims?

    • Giles Peaker

      Our view, and that of the MHCLG, is that for cases of serious risk to health or safety, claims would fall under Schedule 1, para 35 of LASPO, so funding would be available to remove or reduce the risk. As with disrepair, it would not extend to associated damages claims.

  4. Steve

    In the 8A of the Bill it says that section 8 applies to leases “for a term of less than 7 years”. Am I correct in assuming that the word “term” includes those on periodic tenancies (that were periodic from the start) with periodic ‘terms’ such as weekly, monthly etc?



  1. Free Movement interviews... Giles Peaker on housing law blogging - Free Movement - […] housing category of the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards. He is one of the prime movers behind…

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