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Awaab's Law: Emergency housing repairs to be completed in 24 hours

Awaab's Law: Emergency housing repairs to be completed in 24 hours
Nick Cheek
Written By:
Nick Cheek

The government has opened a consultation on Awaab's Law, to bring in strict time limits for social housing landlords to take action on damp and mould.

The Awaab’s law consultation has been launched following the tragic death of two-year old Awaab Isaak in Rochdale from a respiratory condition caused by mould last year.

The proposals in Awaab’s Law include introducing strict time limits for social housing providers and forcing them to take “swift action” to address hazards like damp and mould.

Legal requirements would mandate that social landlords should investigate such issues within 14 days, start fixing in a further seven days and to make emergency repairs in 24 hours.

Landlords who fail to do so can be taken to court and ordered to pay compensation for tenants. Tenants can also take their landlords to court if they fail to fix dangerous hazards and the government says this “builds on the progress already made to drive up standards in social housing”.

There will be expectations for landlords to keep clear records to improve transparency for tenants and to show attempts to comply with new timescales.

More robust action against social landlords

Department for Levelling Up’s Housing Secretary Michael Gove said: “The tragic death of Awaab Ishak should never have happened. His family have shown courageous leadership, determination and dignity to champion these changes and now it’s time for us to deliver for them through Awaab’s Law.

“Today is about stronger and more robust action against social landlords who have refused to take their basic responsibilities seriously for far too long. We will force them to fix their homes within strict new time limits and take immediate action to tackle dangerous damp and mould to help prevent future tragedies.

“Alongside Awaab’s Law, our landmark Social Housing Act will drastically improve the quality of life in social housing, granting residents a proper voice to fight those who think they can cheat the system and ensuring rogue landlords face the full force of the law.”

Faisal Abdullah, Awaab’s Father said: “We hope that Awaab’s Law will stop any other family going through the pain that we went through. Landlords need to listen to the concerns of tenants and we support these proposals.”

Social Housing campaigner, Kwajo Tweneboa, added: “As we know many families across the country are still living in homes with damp and mould, creating misery but more worryingly risks their health and safety.

“I’m pleased to see Awaab’s Law reach the consultation phase and hope that it goes far enough to prevent other families going through the tragedy Awaab’s family have had to. It’s crucial the government are able to make sure this law has teeth and is enforced for it to work as intended.”