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Awaab’s Law to force social housing landlords to fix damp and mould issues to strict deadlines

  • 14/02/2023
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Awaab’s Law to force social housing landlords to fix damp and mould issues to strict deadlines
Social housing landlords will have to investigate and fix damp and mould within strict timeframes, according to a tabled amendment to the Social Housing Regulation Bill.

The amendment, known as Awaab’s Law, will require landlords to fix health hazards within set time limits.

There will be a consultation later this year to set the timeframes within which landlords will have to look into hazards and make required repairs.

The rules will also form part of a tenancy agreement, so tenants can hold landlords to account by law if they fail to provide housing of a decent standard.

The Housing Ombudsman will also have further powers to instruct landlords to measure their services against guidance on issues like damp and mould, to improve housing after complaints from tenants.

Other amendments tabled include improvements to insolvency arrangements, data protection and requirements for written reports after inspections.

The government has said it is undergoing a “rapid review of existing guidance” on health impacts of damp and mould as well as new guidance tailored to the housing sector. This is due to be published in Summer 2023.

The amendment Awaab’s Law comes after two-year-old Awaab Ishak died due to damp and mould in his home.

The Rochdale Boroughwide Housing who managed the building were made aware of the issues but did not take adequate action.

The government has blocked funding to Rochdale Boroughwide Housing to build new homes until it can prove it is a “responsible landlord”.

Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove (pictured) said: “The tragic death of Awaab Ishak should never have happened. He was inexcusably let down and his family repeatedly ignored. I want to pay tribute to Awaab’s family for their tireless fight for justice over the last two years.

“Today we have announced tough new laws to force social landlords to fix their homes within strict new time limits. Those landlords who continue to drag their feet over dangerous damp and mould will face the full force of the law.”

He added: “Our Social Housing Bill will enshrine tenants’ rights in law and strengthen the Housing Ombudsman and Regulator’s powers so that poor social landlords have nowhere to hide. Awaab’s Law will help to ensure that homes across the country are safe, decent and warm.”

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