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As of today, 20 March 2020, section 9B(4) of Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 means that the section 9A ‘fit for human habitation’ obligation applies to all periodic and secure tenancies in England that existed on 20 March 2019 and are ongoing.

This means that the provisions introduced by the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 now apply to tenancies in England of less than 7 years where:

a) The tenancy began on or after 20 March 2019 (including ‘renewals’), from the date of the tenancy.

b) The tenancy was for a fixed term that began before 20 March 2019, but became a secure or periodic tenancy on or after 20 March 2019 – the obligation applies from the date the tenancy became secure or periodic.

c) All periodic and secure tenancies that were already in existence on 20 March 2019, from 20 March 2020.

With the exception of some few tenancies where the fixed term is longer than a year (but less than seven years) that began before 20 March 2019, this means that the fitness obligation now applies to virtually all residential tenancies in England.

The fitness obligation is not retrospective, so breach of duty (and with it any damages for the breach) only arises at the point the obligation applied (thought there may well be damages for disrepair or nuisance for a previous period).

Our ‘thumbnail guide’ is here.





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.


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