Housing Act 1957

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1957 c. 56


Housing Act , 1957

(5 & 6 Eliz. 2) CHAPTER 56

An Act to consolidate the enactments relating to housing with the exception of certain provisions relating to financial matters.

Be it enacted by the Queen'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 General Provisions as respects Local Authorities

Part I

General Provisions as respects Local Authorities

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.

S-2 Approval by Minister of proposals for exercise oflocal authorities' functions under Parts II and III.

2 Approval by Minister of proposals for exercise oflocal authorities' functions under Parts II and III.

(1) It shall be the duty of a local authority in carrying out their functions under Parts II and III of this Act to have regard to the proposals in that behalf submitted by them to the Minister and approved by him before the commencement of this Act under the Housing Repairs and Rents Act, 1954, but subject to any modifications made by subsequent proposals approved by the Minister under this section.

(2) A local authority may at any time, and if directed by the Minister shall within the period specified in the direction, submit further proposals for amplifying or modifying any proposals for dealing with unfit houses previously submitted by that authority and approved by the Minister; and the Minister may approve the further proposals with or without modifications.

(3) A copy of any proposals approved under this section shall be deposited at the offices of the local authority concerned, and shall be open to inspection without charge during ordinary office hours.

(4) The proposals submitted under this section in respect of any metropolitan borough shall be proposals submitted jointly by the London County Council and the council of the borough.

S-3 Duty of local authority to inspect district and keep records.

3 Duty of local authority to inspect district and keep records.

(1) 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 local authority, and of every officer of the local authority, to comply with such regulations and to keep such records as the Minister may prescribe.

(2) As respects the administrative county of London other than the City of London the local authority for the purposes of this section shall be the council of the metropolitan borough.

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

Definition of Standard of Fitness

Definition of Standard of Fitness

S-4 Matters to be taken into account in determining whether a house is unfit.

4 Matters to be taken into account in determining whether a house is unfit.

(1) In determining for any of the purposes of this Act whether a house is unfit for human habitation, regard shall be had to its condition in respect of the following matters, that is to say—

(a ) repair;

(b ) stability;

(c ) freedom from damp;

(d ) natural lighting;

(e ) ventilation;

(f ) water supply;

(g ) drainage and sanitary conveniences;

(h ) facilities for storage, preparation and cooking of food and for the disposal of waste water;

and the house shall be deemed to be unfit for human habitation if and only if it is so far defective in one or more of the said matters that it is not reasonably suitable for occupation in that condition.

(2) So much of any local enactment—

(a ) as specifies defects by reason of which a house is to be deemed for the purposes of section nine of this Act not to be in all respects fit for human habitation, or

(b ) as regulates the matters to be taken into consideration on an appeal under this Part of this Act in respect of a notice requiring the execution of works to remedy any defects so specified,

shall cease to have effect.

S-5 Prohibition of back-to-back houses.

5 Prohibition of back-to-back houses.

(1) Notwithstanding anything in any local Act or byelaw in force in any borough or district, it shall not be lawful to erect any back-to-back houses intended to be used as dwellings for the working classes, and any such house shall for the purposes of this Act be deemed to be unfit for human habitation:

Provided that nothing in this section shall prevent the erection or use of a house containing several tenements in which the tenements are placed back to back, if the medical officer of health for the borough or district certifies that the several tenements are so constructed and arranged as to secure effective ventilation of all habitable rooms in every tenement.

(2) This section shall apply to any house commenced to be erected after the third day of December, nineteen hundred and nine, except that it shall not apply to houses abutting on any streets, the plans whereof were approved by the local authority before the first day of May, nineteen hundred and nine, in any borough or district in which, on the third day of December, nineteen hundred and nine, any local Act or byelaws were in force permitting the erection of back-to-back houses.

Obligation of Lessors of Small Houses

Obligation of Lessors of Small Houses

S-6 Conditions to be implied on the letting of small houses.

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

(1) This section applies—

(a ) to a contract made before the thirty-first day of July, nineteen hundred and twenty-three, for letting for human habitation a house at a rent not exceeding—

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

(ii) in the case of a house situate in a borough or urban district outside the administrative county of London, 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, twenty-six pounds;

(iii) in the case of a house situate elsewhere, sixteen pounds, and

(b ) to a contract made on or after the said thirty-first day of July and before the sixth day of July, nineteen hundred and fifty-seven, for letting for human habitation a house at a rent not exceeding—

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

(ii) in the case of a house situate elsewhere, twenty-six pounds, and

(c ) to a contract made on or after the said sixth day of July, nineteen hundred and fifty-seven, for letting for human habitation a house at a rent not exceeding—

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

(ii) in the case of a house situate elsewhere, fifty-two pounds.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this Act, in any contract to which this section applies 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, 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.

(3) 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.

(4) 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.

S-7 Application of foregoing section to houses occupied byagricultural workers otherwise than as tenants.

7 Application of foregoing section to houses occupied byagricultural workers otherwise than as tenants.

7. 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 last 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 acordingly, with the substitution of ‘employer’ for ‘landlord’, and such other modifications as may be necessary:

Provided that this section...

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