Labour will extend ‘Awaab’s Law’ into the private rented sector if it wins power at the next General Election, its Deputy Leader Angela Rayner has revealed.
She says: “There is no justification for letting private landlords off the hook for resolving mould and damp issues in their properties.
“The private rented sector has widespread problems with damp, mould and cold, driven by the poor energy efficiency of privately rented homes.
“It is a no-brainer to extend Awaab’s Law to the private rented sector and that is exactly what Labour will do."
The Tories have already been busy on this front; new guidance on managing mould and damp within social housing was issued on September last year and Ministers are consulting on Awaab’s Law, which would enable tenants in the social rented sector to hold landlords to account for poor housing conditions by taking legal action through the courts, and require minimum response times.
Both Government initiatives followed the death of toddler Awaab Ishak in Rochdale, whose case was linked to mould and damp at his parent’s council flat in the town.
The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) says that although it welcomes ‘political interest’ in raising standards in housing across ‘all tenures’, nothing it likely to change until council are properly resourced to pay for the enforcement of standards.
Louise Hosking (pictured), its Executive Director of Environmental Health, says: “Local authorities are severely under-resourced. There is a need for sustained and predictable funding for the enforcement of housing standards – and a lot more of it.
“The regulatory framework around poor housing is already very complex and it can be hard for tenants themselves to use legal remedies.
“We would therefore like to see a greater focus on enabling local authorities to enforce existing legislation and will look forward to working with all the political parties on this issue.”