Private renters are most in need of Awaab’s Law due to the frequently worse conditions of mould in their homes, says Labour MP Fleur Anderson (main image, centre), who hopes to instigate stricter rules for the PRS.
Her private members’ bill - Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (Amendment) – has its second reading in the Commons on 1st March and would make it mandatory for private landlords to fix problems including mould. Her party has already said it would back her Bill following a General Election win.
The Bill follows government proposals which set new deadlines for social housing landlords to make emergency repairs to unsafe homes; to investigate hazards within 14 days, start repairs within a further seven days, and make emergency repairs within 24 hours.
Fleur, who is MP for Putney, Roehampton & Southfields, says this law should be extended to those in private rented housing, which makes up a much larger proportion of rented housing and in most cases is in a poorer condition.
“While many good, responsible and caring landlords will welcome the extension of Awaab’s Law because they have been fixing mould in a timely fashion for years, my bill is for the benefit of tenants of rogue landlords who refuse to pick up the phone and don’t answer emails for months on end,” explains Anderson.
She believes that while the Conservatives say the number of private landlords who own one or two properties makes it unfeasible to extend Awaab’s Law - as enforcement would be too difficult - government cuts to council funding have left them ill-equipped to investigate rogue landlords.
“I urge the government to include its wording in the Renters Reform Bill because renters in my constituency and across the country cannot wait any longer,” she adds.
The Commons’ health and social care committee has also urged the government to extend the crackdown on social landlords to tackle damp and mould, to the PRS.