Housing safety legislation

These acts and regulations are a summary of the major housing legislation.

Building Act 1984

Sections 59 and 76 deal with drainage as a statutory nuisance, section 64 deals with the issue of toilets in properties and sections 77 and 78 deal with dangerous buildings.

Defective Premises Act 1972

This ensures landlords prevent disrepair which could cause harm to tenants and others or their possessions.

Electricity Act 1989

This sets the maximum price a landlord can charge tenants for electricity.

Environmental Protection Act 1990

Sections 79 to 81 in Part III contain powers allowing us to take action over statutory nuisances through notices requiring them to stop or prohibit or restrict their occurrence or recurrence.

Fire Precautions Act 1971

Section 10 allows the fire service to prohibit or restrict the use of premises where there is a serious risk to life in the event of a fire.

Furniture and furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988

This requires landlords to ensure their furniture and furnishings meet set safety standards.

Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998

This ensures it is a landlord’s statutory duty to arrange for an annual gas safety inspection by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974

Section 3 places a duty on anyone who runs a business to ensure anyone not in their employment is not exposed to risks to their health or safety.

Housing Act 1988

This introduced the most common form of tenancy for private sector tenants, the assured shorthold tenancy agreement.

Housing Act 2004

This came into force on 6 April 2006 and changed the way properties are inspected, licensed and registered and the way in which deposits are handled. Predominately concerned with minimum housing standards including overcrowding where we have specific powers concerning houses in multiple occupation and sexual overcrowding which prohibits over-12s sharing sleeping accommodation with members of the opposite sex unless they live together as husband and wife.

Landlord and Tenant Act 1985

This ensures landlords repair and maintain properties for tenants.

Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976

Section 33 allows us to reconnect or continue electrical, gas or water supplies where the owner or former owner has failed to pay the bill and to recover any expenses.

Protection from Eviction Act 1977

This defines criminal offences which may be committed by landlords, or someone acting on their behalf, through harassment and eviction of tenants without a court order.

Protection from Harassment Act 1997

This makes it a crime and tort to harass someone and if that person knows, or ought to know, their behaviour amounts to harassment.

Public Health Act 1936

Section 45 allows for the repair of existing but unsatisfactory toilets.

Public Health Act 1961

Section 17 allows us to ensure homeowners remedy stopped-up drains and carry out minor drainage repairs.

Rent Act 1977

This applies to regulated tenancies.