Heating: Healthy Homes Standards

The Housing Improvement Regulations Act 1947 states that: ‘Every living room must be fitted with a fireplace and chimney or other approved form of heating’.

This has been overlooked by many landlords and the Tenancy Tribunal is awarding compensation and exemplary damages to tenants who complain
that they do not have a heat source in the living room.

These regulations define a habitable room as any room which is used or intended to be used, or, in the opinion of the local authority, is capable of being used, as a living room, dining room, sitting room, or bedroom; and includes a kitchen having a floor area of 80 square feet or more, but does not include a room constructed and used as a garage. Therefore, a living room can be the lounge, dining, kitchen, or a combination of these spaces depending on the properties layout according to the Healthy Homes Standards.

Landlords that do not currently provide any form of heating in the living room should plan to meet the heating standard first, and with some urgency or risk being taken to the tenancy tribunal. The heating standard is also the healthy homes standard that is most likely to matter to tenants.