Social landlords face strict time limits to tackle mould

Awaab’s Law death will force landlords to swiftly address dangerous hazards

Awaab Ishak’s death was triggered by exposure to mould

Social landlords will have a new legal requirement to carry out emergency repairs within 24 hours under new legislation being proposed by the government. 

The Awaab’s Law consultation, launched by Housing Secretary of State Michael Gove on 9 January, sets out strict new time limits to force social housing providers to take swift action to address dangerous hazards such as damp and mould.

The consultation proposes new legal requirements for social landlords to investigate hazards within 14 days, start fixing within a further week, and make emergency repairs within 24 hours. 

Those landlords who fail to do so can be taken to court, where they may be ordered to pay compensation to the tenants. 

The new law has been drawn up in response to the furore sparked by a coroner’s ruling in November 2022 that two-year-old Awaab Ishak died because of a severe respiratory condition triggered by prolonged exposure to mould in his family’s social housing flat. 

The consultation states that mould in homes must not be pinned on ‘lifestyle choices’. It says cooking, having a shower and putting clothes out to dry are part and parcel of living in a home.