A NEW law will soon mean tenants can sue their landlords over homes which are cold or mouldy.

Next month the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act will come into effect, in a bid to give tenants more powers to hold their landlord to account over the state of their properties.

The act, which will come into force on March 20, means properties must meet a certain standard and if they don't, tenants have a right to take their landlord to court.

In a blog post, homeless charity Shelter said: "Crucially, the Bill will help private and social renter's voices to be heard, by giving them the right to take their landlord to court over unfit and unsafe conditions like these in their home.

"The Bill could help to prevent another tragedy like the Grenfell tower fire. This was the starkest reminder of the dangers of unsafe accommodation.

"There are currently almost one million rented homes with hazards that pose a serious risk to health and safety. This affects around 2.5million people, who'll all benefit from this landmark change in the law."

A property could be deemed unfit for habitation if there are 'serious' problems with any of the following:

  • Repair
  • Stability
  • Freedom from damp
  • Internal arrangement
  • Natural lighting
  • Ventilation
  • Water supply
  • Drainage and sanitary conveniences
  • Facilities for the preparation and cooking of food and for the disposal of waste water

Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Heather Wheeler MP, previously said: "Everyone deserves a safe and decent place to live, regardless of whether you own your home or rent it.

"This new law is a further step to ensure that tenants have the decent homes they deserve."