Social housing regulation bill: Amendment protecting vulnerable social housing residents from damp and mould.
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What is the social housing issue with mould and damp?
So amendments are being made to the social housing regulation bill?
The government has tabled amendments to the Social Housing (Regulation) Bill, which will give new powers to tenants, requiring landlords to fix damp and mould issues within specified timeframes. The new rules will form part of the tenancy agreement, so tenants can hold landlords to account by law if they fail to provide a decent home.
In recent news of two-year-old Awaab Ishak, dying due to being subjected by these conditions in Rochdale, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove said:
“The tragic death of this young child should never have happened. He was inexcusably let down and his family repeatedly ignored.”
Mr Gove also said
“Today we have announced tough new laws to force social landlords to fix their homes within strict new time limits.”
What are the risks for landlords with this new damp and mould legislation?
So what does this mean for social housing law and what will apply to private landlords? The new legislation suggests that owners of rented property will have a new time limits to be able to prove they have been able to resolve any damp or mould issues in a property as stated by the housing ombudsman. Analogous laws in other European countries state that if this is not completed then Landlord’s are expected to move inhabitants of their properties to a safe location around their previous home, whether that be a hotel or B&B. This comes at a cost to the landlord.
How will private landlords ensure tenant's social housing remains safe?
As well as this, the amendments to the bill will mean social housing landlords will need to ensure the issue does not keep persisting. Valuable time and money can be spent combatting issues of mould and damp, therefore a solution to stop mould growing at the source would be by far the best solution for many to this issue. Now more than ever, it is essential this legislation is met with proper preventative measures rather than reactive solutions.
What if you're a tenant and your landlord isn't listening about mould and dampness?
If you as a tenant are struggling with a house with black mould, or a landlord that wont investigate and fix mould growth within your property. There are a few actions that are open to you.
The housing ombudsman can help you or your landlord come to a sensible agreement of reasonable action to take.
There are special housing charities who can help solve the issues arising, or find other suitable accommodation.
Write to the housing secretary, letting you local council and landlord know you have done so.
All of these mean a fairer private renting sector and, hopefully. less deaths occurring due to damp.
Q: What is the Social Housing Regulation Bill?
A: The Social Housing Regulation Bill is a proposed legislation that aims to provide better protection for vulnerable social housing residents from damp and mould.
Q: What is black mould?
A: Black mould is a type of fungi that can grow on damp surfaces, particularly in poorly ventilated areas. It can pose serious health hazards to individuals living in affected homes.
Q: What is the housing ombudsman?
A: It an independent body that resolves disputes between tenants and social housing providers. The proposed bill aims to provide the housing ombudsman with additional authority to help landlords improve their performance in managing damp and mould issues.
Q: Why is damp and mould a concern in social housing?
A: These can have serious health implications, especially for vulnerable residents. It can cause respiratory problems, allergies, and exacerbate existing health conditions.
Q: Who will be responsible for investigating and fixing damp and mould issues in social housing properties?
A: The housing ombudsman will be given the authority to oversee the investigation and resolution of damp and mould issues in social housing properties. Social housing providers will have a specific timeframe to address these issues.
Q: How will the bill help landlords improve their performance in managing damp and mould issues?
A: By granting the housing ombudsman new powers, the bill will enable them to provide guidance and support to landlords, encouraging them to take necessary steps to improve their performance in addressing damp and mould problems in their housing stock.
If I’m a Landlord or Block Manager, how can I make sure I am protected from damp and mould?
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Our product can be tested using a HomeFresh® testing kit, so you can prove to tenants and authorities that buildings have been treated and are safe for inhabitation. You may think that this technology would require specialist training and knowledge to apply, but HomeFresh® can be painted, sprayed or rolled on with no prior experience of using the technology. Fantastic benefits for to be harnessed by landlords and block managers.
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