Housing Act 1936

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1936 c. 51


Housing Act, 1936

(26 Geo. 5 & 1 Edw. 8.) 51.

An Act to consolidate the Housing Acts, 1925 to 1935, and certain other enactments relating to housing.

[31st July 1936]

B E it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Local Authorities for purposes of this Act.

Part I.

Local Authorities for purposes of this Act.

S-1 Local authorities for purposes of this Act.

1 Local authorities for purposes of this Act.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the local authority for the purposes of this Act as respects England and Wales other than the administrative county of London shall be the council of the borough, urban district or rural district.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the local authority for the purposes of this Act as respects the administrative county of London shall be,—

(a ) as respects the City of London, the Common Council;

(b ) as respects the administrative county of London other than the City of London, the metropolitan borough council or the London County Council as hereinafter provided.

II Provisions for securing the Repair, Maintenance and Sanitary Condition of Houses.

Part II.

Provisions for securing the Repair, Maintenance and Sanitary Condition of Houses.

Obligation of Lessors of Small Houses.

Obligation of Lessors of Small Houses.

S-2 Conditions to be implied on the letting of small houses.

2 Conditions to be implied on the letting of small houses.

(1) In any contract for letting for human habitation a house at a rent not exceeding—

(a ) in the case of a house situate in the administrative county of London, forty pounds;

(b ) in the case of a house situate elsewhere, twenty-six pounds;

there shall, notwithstanding any stipulation to the contrary, be implied a condition that the house is at the commencement of the tenancy, and an undertaking that the house will be kept by the landlord during the tenancy, in all respects reasonably fit for human habitation:

Provided that the condition and undertaking aforesaid shall not be implied when a house is let for a term of not less than three years upon the terms that it be put by the lessee into a condition reasonably fit for human habitation, and the lease is not determinable at the option of either party before the expiration of three years.

(2) The landlord, or any person authorised by him in writing, may at reasonable times of the day, on giving twenty-four hours' notice in writing to the tenant or occupier, enter any premises to which this section applies for the purpose of viewing the state and condition thereof.

(3) In this section the expression ‘landlord’ means any person who lets for human habitation to a tenant any house under any contract referred to in this section, and includes his successors in title, and the expression ‘house’ includes part of a house.

(4) This section applies to a contract made either before or after the commencement of this Act:

Provided that, in the case of a house let at a rent exceeding sixteen pounds and situate elsewhere than in the administrative county of London or a borough or an urban district, being a borough or district which at the date of the contract had according to the last published census a population of fifty thousand or upwards, this section shall not apply if the contract was made before the thirty-first day of July, nineteen hundred and twenty-three.

S-3 Application of foregoing section to houses occupiedby agricultural workers otherwise than as tenants.

3 Application of foregoing section to houses occupiedby agricultural workers otherwise than as tenants.

(1) Notwithstanding any stipulation to the contrary, where under a contract of employment of a workman employed in agriculture the provision of a house or part of a house for his occupation forms part of his remuneration, and the provisions of the foregoing section are inapplicable by reason only of the house or part of the house not being let to him, there shall be implied as part of the contract of employment the like condition and undertaking as would be implied under those provisions if the house or part of the house were so let, and those provisions shall apply accordingly, with the substitution of ‘employer’ for ‘landlord,’ and such other modifications as may be necessary:

Provided that this section shall not affect the obligation of any person other than the employer to repair a house to which this section applies, or any remedy for enforcing any such obligation.

(2) This section shall apply whether the contract of employment was entered into before or after the commencement of this Act.

S-4 Information to be given to tenants of working-class houses.

4 Information to be given to tenants of working-class houses.

4. In the case of any house which is occupied, or is of a type suitable for occupation, by persons of the working classes, the name and address of the medical officer of health for the district and of the landlord or other person who is directly responsible for keeping the house in all respects reasonably fit for human habitation shall be inscribed in the rent book, or, where a rent book is not used, shall be delivered in writing to the tenant at the commencement of the tenancy and before any rent is demanded or collected; and, where there has been any failure to comply with the provisions of this section in respect of any house, any person who while the default continues demands or collects any rent in respect of the house as aforesaid shall on summary conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding forty shillings.

Duty of Local Authority in regard to Inspection of Houses.

Duty of Local Authority in regard to Inspection of Houses.

S-5 Duty of local authority to inspect their district and keep records.

5 Duty of local authority to inspect their district and keep records.

5. It shall be the duty of every local authority to cause an inspection of their district to be made from time to time with a view to ascertaining whether any house therein is unfit for human habitation, and for that purpose it shall be the duty of the authority, and of every officer of the authority, to comply with such regulations and to keep such records as the Minister may prescribe.

Power of Local Authorities to make and enforce Byelaws.

Power of Local Authorities to make and enforce Byelaws.

S-6 Byelaws as to working-class houses.

6 Byelaws as to working-class houses.

(1) The local authority may, and if required by the Minister shall, make and enforce byelaws with respect to houses which are occupied, or are of a type suitable for occupation, by persons of the working classes—

(a ) for fixing, and from time to time varying, the number of persons who may occupy such a house, and for the separation of the sexes therein;

(b ) for the registration and inspection of such houses;

(c ) for enforcing drainage and promoting cleanliness and ventilation of such houses;

(d ) for requiring provision adequate for the use of, and readily accessible to, each family, of—

(i) closet accommodation;

(ii) water supply and washing accommodation;

(iii) accommodation for the storage, preparation, and cooking of food;

and, where necessary, for securing separate accommodation as aforesaid for every part of any such house which is occupied as a separate dwelling;

(e ) for the keeping in repair and adequate lighting of any common staircases in such houses;

(f ) for securing stability, and the prevention of and safety from fire;

(g ) for the cleansing and redecoration of the premises at stated times, and for the paving of the courts and courtyards;

(h ) for the provision of handrails, where necessary, for all staircases of such houses;

(i ) for securing the adequate lighting of every room in such houses;

(j ) for the prevention of nuisances arising from or in a part of a building or an underground room in respect of which a closing order under section twelve of this Act is in force;

(k ) as respects houses situate in the administrative county of London, for the taking of precautions in the case of infectious disease;

and any such byelaws, in addition to any other penalty, may prohibit the letting for occupation by members of more than one family of any such house unless the byelaws are complied with, subject, in the case of houses so let or occupied at the time when the byelaws come into force, to the allowance of a reasonable time for the execution of any works necessary for compliance with the byelaws.

(2) As from the appointed day within the meaning of Part IV of this Act, paragraph (a ) of the last foregoing subsection, and any byelaws made under this section for the purposes specified in that paragraph, shall cease to have effect.

(3) The operation of any byelaws made under this section for any of the purposes specified therein may be limited to houses let in lodgings or occupied by members of more than one family.

(4) If a local authority, when required by the Minister to make byelaws under this section for any of the purposes specified therein, fail to make, within such period as he may specify, byelaws satisfactory to him for those purposes the Minister may himself make byelaws for those purposes, and any byelaws so made by him shall have effect, and shall be enforced, as if they had been made by the local authority and duly confirmed.

(5) The Minister shall be the confirming authority as respects byelaws made under this section.

S-7 Enforcement of execution of works to comply with byelaws.

7 Enforcement of execution of works to comply with byelaws.

(1) Byelaws made under the last foregoing section may impose the duty of executing any works necessary for compliance with the...

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