Following the recent death of Awaab Ishak, the Government has proposed action to ensure no further deaths occur due to damp or mould growth within social housing properties.
The amendments to the Social Housing Regulation Bill will include strict specific time frames for landlords to investigate and fix any reported health hazards. These amendments to the Bill will “enshrine tenants’ rights in law” as Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities stated on 9 February 2023.
Alongside the amendments to the Bill, the Housing Ombudsman will be given new powers to enable them to order landlords to measure their service against the guidance given on health hazard issues.
This proposal means that tenants will have rights granted by the amendments that can be stringently pursued through the Housing Ombudsman. Although this is good news for tenants, this may be concerning for landlords who will have to comply with the new proposals.
Prior to the amendments taking place, the Government will be launching a consultation later this year to establish the time frames that will be imposed on landlords. We await the consultation from the Government and the further guidance to be published.