Mould free housing
My Private Members Bill for mould free housing
For far too many, the private rented sector has become unreliable, unsafe and unhealthy.
With an estimated 1.6 million children across the UK living in privately rented homes with cold, damp or mould, urgent and swift action is required to make sure everyone has the absolute basic standard of access to a safe place to call home.
That is why I have introduced a Bill into Parliament to change the law so that private landlords must address and remove mould whenever it appears.
This law, referred to as Awaab’s Law will soon be introduced in the social rented sector following the tragic death of Awaab Ishak, a two-year old child from Rochdale who died from a respiratory condition caused by the extensive mould in his home.
While this is a good first step, this law should not exist solely for those who live in social housing but 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.
The Conservatives say the number of smaller landlords in the private rented sector who own one or two properties makes it unfeasible to extend Awaab’s Law as enforcement would be too difficult.
But if anything, those in the private rented sector need Awaab’s Law more than anyone due to the frequently worse conditions of mould in their homes. And it is the Government themselves who have cut council funding, leaving them ill-equipped to investigate rogue landlords.
And 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.
Labour’s front bench has already taken the lead in pushing the government to recognise the rights of all tenants, irrespective of who their landlord is to a decent, safe, secure, and affordable home.
Matthew Pennycook, Labour’s Shadow Housing Minister has said that he believes ‘there is no justification whatsoever for restricting ‘Awaab’s law’ purely to social housing.”
And when the Renters Reform Bill came through Parliament, Labour put forward a clause that if passed would have required private landlords to fix mould in their properties.
Labour has and will always champion the rights of tenants regardless of whether they are in the social or private rented sector.
My Bill comes back to Parliament on Friday 1st March. 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.
Too much private housing is cold, damp and mouldy which is posing serious health threats to many. In Britain in 2024, this cannot be a situation that continues.
Regardless of what happens to my Private Members Bill, I will continue to fight to make sure no one has to live with unsafe, unhealthy living conditions because of a landlord who doesn’t care.