The Master of the Rolls has approved a new pre-action protocol, replacing what was previously the pre-action protocol for housing disrepair cases. It has been amended to take into account the obligations on a landlord to ensure that homes are fit for human habitation and this came into force on 13 January 2020.
The existing protocol has been amended so that “disrepair” is replaced with “housing condition” and “repairs” are replaced with “works”. The Annexes have also been amended accordingly.
There is a new line at 7.7 of the protocol to confirm that where separate experts are instructed, each party will pay the full cost of inspection and report by their own expert.
There is a new Pre-Action Protocol for Housing Disrepair Cases (Wales) as the main amendments made by the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 do not apply to Wales.
The Civil Procedure Rules Committee are looking further at this protocol and it is expected that further amendments will be made to properly take into account the changes to obligations relating to housing condition as a result of the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018.