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Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016

Chapter 2 - Condition of Dwelling

262.Chapter 2 makes provisions relating to the condition of dwellings. Sections 91, 92, 93, 95, 96, 97, 98 and 99 are fundamental provisions applying to all occupation contracts to which Part 4 applies (see Chapter 1).

Section 91 – Landlord’s obligation: fitness for human habitation

263.If this section is incorporated as a term of the contract without modification, a landlord is required to ensure the dwelling is fit for human habitation throughout the term of the contract. Section 94 makes further provision as to the determination of fitness.

Section 92 - Landlord’s obligation to keep dwelling in repair

264.If this section is incorporated as a term of the contract without modification, the landlord is required to keep the dwelling in repair. This applies to the structure and exterior of the dwelling as well as to service installations (for example, in relation to water, gas, electricity, heating and sanitation).

Section 93 – Obligations under sections 91 and 92: supplementary

265.If this section is incorporated as a term of the contract without modification, the landlord will be required to rectify any damage caused as a result of works carried out in order to comply with the fitness for human habitation and repairing obligations. Furthermore, the landlord must not place any obligations on the contract-holder if the contract-holder enforces the landlord’s obligations. For example, the landlord cannot include a term in the contract which requires the contract-holder to pay for any repairs which would be required because of a term of the contract that incorporates sections 91 or 92.

Section 94 – Determination of fitness for human habitation

266.The Welsh Ministers must set out specific matters in regulations to be considered in determining whether a dwelling is fit for human habitation. This may be done by reference to regulations made by the Welsh Ministers under Section 2 of the Housing Act 2004 (which concern the Housing Health and Safety Rating System). The matters to be considered in determining whether a dwelling is fit for human habitation may refer to the hazard types listed in regulations made under the 2004 Act (including damp and mould growth, excess cold and risk of fire), or refer to matters which might arise because of a failure to comply with an obligation to keep dwellings in repair. Furthermore, the Welsh Ministers may by regulation impose requirements on landlords for the purposes of preventing circumstances from arising which could cause a dwelling to be unfit for human habitation. The regulations may also prescribe that, if a landlord doesn’t comply with any such obligations, a dwelling is not considered to be fit for human habitation.

Section 95 - Limits on sections 91 and 92: general

267.If this section is incorporated as a term of the contract without modification, the landlord’s obligations to keep a dwelling fit for human habitation and in repair will not apply if the landlord could not comply without incurring unreasonable expense. The landlord will also not be required to rebuild a dwelling destroyed by fire, storm or flood.

Section 96 – Limits on sections 91 and 92: contract-holders fault

268.If this section is incorporated as a term of the contract without modification, the landlord is not obliged to make a dwelling fit for human habitation or to undertake repairs, where the dwelling is unfit or in need of repair due to action, inaction, or lack of care on the part of the contract-holder or other permitted occupier.

Section 97 - Limits on section 91 and 92: notice

269.If sections 91 and 92 are incorporated as terms of the contract without modification, the landlord’s repairing obligations will apply for the duration of the contract. But if section 97 is incorporated, those obligations (apart from the obligation to ensure that a property is fit for human habitation on the occupation date) will only apply once the landlord becomes aware of the need for works or repairs.

270.To comply with the repairing obligations, the landlord must carry out the necessary works or repairs within a reasonable time after becoming aware that they are necessary. If there is a change of landlord, the new landlord is treated as being aware that action is necessary from the date of the transfer, if the old landlord was aware that works or repairs were required before the change.

271.This applies equally in situations where there are joint landlords, such that awareness of the need for works or repairs by any one of the joint landlords will mean that the obligations under sections 91(1)(b) and 92(1) and (2) will arise in respect of the joint landlords

Section 98 – Landlord’s right to access dwelling

272.If this section is incorporated as a term of the contract without modification, the landlord has the right to enter the dwelling at any reasonable time to inspect or undertake repairs, but must give the contract-holder at least 24 hours’ notice before doing so (in the event of an emergency, the landlord has other rights under the law to access the property without giving notice). However, the landlord will not be liable for failing to comply with the fitness for human habitation and repairing obligations if the necessary works or repairs require access to a part of the building which the landlord does not have a right to access, and the landlord has been unable to gain access after making reasonable effort.

Section 99 – Rights of permitted occupiers to enforce Chapter

273.If this section is incorporated as a term of the contract without modification, in addition to the contract-holder, a permitted occupier of the dwelling who suffers as a result of the landlord not complying with the fitness for habitation or repairing obligations may bring court proceedings against the landlord in their own right. ‘Permitted occupier’ is defined in Section 244.

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Text created by the Welsh Government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the National Assembly for Wales.

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