A new law will come into force on March 20 and it will allow tenants to sue landlords over properties that are deemed to be unfit for living.

The new law will be an update to the already existent Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

The updated law will apply to tenancies of less than seven years in England and Wales, meaning renters can go to court if the property is deemed unfit for living.

East Midlands house prices have increased by 6.5% since August 2018 meaning that people are more likely to turn to rental properties.

So what do the people of Nottingham think of this updated law?

Video: People of Nottingham give their opinion on the updated law.

But what is the definition of “unfit” and what properties qualify? If a tenant has issues with any of the following below they will soon be able to take action.

  • Repair
  • Stability
  • Damp
  • Internal arrangement
  • Natural lighting
  • Ventilation
  • Water supply
  • Drainage and sanitary conveniences
  • Facilities for preparation and cooking of food and for the disposal of waste water
  • Hazards under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System

Image: A Nottingham street.

Properties that are too cold or too hot, those that have damp or asbestos and those with noise or lighting issues, alongside a host of other problems will be able to take their landlord to court.

“landlords try and deal with issues as soon as they can”

Imran Sahiq, letting agent

Despite the new law not being in place yet it has not stopped tenants from complaining and getting their way when it comes to living standards.

In January this year a Nottingham landlord was fined more than £6,000 after failing to sort out mould and safety issues at one of his properties.

Video: Martyna Terlecka reports on landlord priorities.

Landlords who get things fixed when asked to and look after their tenants should not have to worry.

A successful court order might require a landlord to take action regarding a certain hazard or to compensate a tenant with damages.

The law does not force a landlord to rebuild a dwelling that has been destroyed or damaged by fire, flood or any other natural occurrence.

Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 Section 17: Specific performance of landlord’s repairing obligations.

(1) In proceedings in which a tenant of a dwelling alleges a breach on the part of his landlord of a repairing covenant relating to any part of the premises in which the dwelling is comprised, the court may order specific performance of the covenant whether or not the breach relates to a part of the premises let to the tenant and notwithstanding any equitable rule restricting the scope of the remedy, whether on the basis of a lack of mutuality or otherwise.