Citizens Advice calls for ‘Awaab’s law’ to be extended to PRS

Citizens Advice calls for ‘Awaab’s law’ to be extended to PRS

10:24 AM, 22nd February 2023, About A year ago 22

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A charity is calling for a new law aimed at cracking down on mould issues in social housing to be extended to private housing landlords.

Citizens Advice is urging the government to bring regulation of the private rented sector (PRS) in line with social housing after the death of Awaab Ishak.

The government recently announced a new ‘Awaab’s law’ that will force social landlords to fix damp and mould within strict time limits.

The toddler died in Rochdale from a respiratory condition that had been caused by exposure to mould in his social housing flat.

1.6 million children live in privately rented homes with damp or mould

Citizens Advice says it has carried out a survey that reveals that 1.6 million children currently live in privately rented homes with damp, mould or excessive cold.

According to the survey, more than half (58%) of private renters in England are struggling with either damp, mould or excessive cold or a combination of these issues.

The survey also found that 30% of renters can’t afford to heat their home to a comfortable temperature – increasing to 45% of disabled tenants.

The charity says that the average private tenant in England is paying £350 more a year on heating because of poorly insulated and damp homes, while those in the least efficient properties are paying an extra £950.

‘Improving energy efficiency in privately rented homes has never been more urgent’

Gillian Cooper, head of energy policy at Citizens Advice, said: “Every week we hear stories of people living in cold, damp and mouldy properties they can’t afford to heat properly.

“It’s shameful that more than 20 years since legislation came into force to reduce fuel poverty and improve the energy performance of homes, people are still suffering.”

She added: “Improving energy efficiency in privately rented homes has never been more urgent. It’s the step needed to keep people’s essential bills low, while also helping to protect their mental and physical health.”

‘Some landlords have already spent nearly £9,000 on improvements to meet EPC requirements’

The charity is calling on the government to follow through on its promise to make sure all new private rental properties are upgraded to a minimum EPC C rating by 2025 and existing tenancies by 2028.

At the moment, landlords are only required to bring properties to an E rating and do not have to make any improvements that will cost more than £3,500.

Citizens Advice wants the cap to be increased from £3,500 to £10,000.

Some landlords have already spent nearly £9,000 on improvements to meet proposed EPC requirements, according to findings from Shawbrook bank.

And a survey from Foundation Home Loans that asked landlords how they would fund the upgrades, 62% said they would use savings, 30% said they would put up the rent to cover the cost and 19% would seek a Government grant or funding.



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Mick Roberts

10:45 AM, 22nd February 2023, About A year ago

Citizens advice on the EPC should be asking both sides of the story on this, otherwise they gonna' be making a lot of people homeless, as Citizens Advice would only get the people contact them that have a problem, whereas the other 90% haven't got a problem, so I'll keep repeating this, as applies to many attacks on us lately.

Who's paying for this then?
Cause if tenants are paying cheap rent ie. Landlord looking after em, & then maybe £5000 or £30,000 to upgrade from E to a C, Landlord then says I can no longer look after u with cheap rent. Cheap rent doesn't pay for these outgoings, I've now got to charge u what the Landlord is charging his better off tenants up the road who's paying more to live in that New build.

Has anyone asked the tenants what they want? We know they want the better house, but when u give them choice I can give u New build for £1000pm or EPC C for £900pm, or still decent house EPC D but not New build standards for £700pm or £550pm I know what virtually all my tenants say.

I've got a rare ECO 4 funding for £6000 work on internal insulation for EPC E house for gal that's been with me over 10 years-She DON'T want it doing. House is EPC E & should bring up to C.

Jimmy Turner

10:48 AM, 22nd February 2023, About A year ago

Absolutely no need for this, property standards in the PRS are already fully covered under existing legislation - HHSRS anyone. Mould and damp issues in poorly maintained properties are all about Local Authorities failing miserably in their EXISTING statutory duty, its absolutely not because of a lack of regulation. Believe it or not, Damp and Mould is first on the HHSRS appendices hazard list; see extract below:

Housing Health and Safety Rating System
Guidance for Landlords and Property Related


1. Damp and Mould Growth

Jim Fox

10:52 AM, 22nd February 2023, About A year ago

A great proposal from CAB providing they are prepared to meet half of the costs in lifting the EPC rating to a C.
Or am I dreaming?

Juan Degales

10:54 AM, 22nd February 2023, About A year ago

Another nail in the coffin of P.R.S. For mould read not opening windows,drying cloths indoors,taking a bath or shower without opening a window afterwards and likewise cooking with no ventilation.
Good luck government and council in housing all these people when no accommodation left for renters.


10:56 AM, 22nd February 2023, About A year ago

What they seem to forget is a lot of mould issues are caused by lack of ventilation. Tenants not wanting to open the windows in colder weather. No amount of "work" is going to fix mould if that is the cause.

Churchills Tax Advisers

11:24 AM, 22nd February 2023, About A year ago

Why is the legislation solely for PRS and social housing? Surely the rules should apply to ALL residential accommodation?

Anne Nixon

11:34 AM, 22nd February 2023, About A year ago

So then a landlord gets the blame for washing being dried on the radiators?
I think it would be a good idea for the government to organise a public information advertising campaign on TV about mould and condensation the way they used to do about road safety, say no to strangers etc.

Jimmy Turner

12:24 PM, 22nd February 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Jimmy Turner at 22/02/2023 - 10:48
Obv talking about property condition related Damp and Mould issues in my last HHSRS comment, but yes the many other comments are right, these issues are nearly always tenant lifestyle related and are not due to property condition and as such, cannot be resolved by the landlord.

Ray Guselli

12:38 PM, 22nd February 2023, About A year ago

I for one, am sick of PRS landlords being targeted for problems which, in many vases are caused by the tenants and their lifestyles.

Fully accept that their can and may be structural problems which must be dealt with but when we have sent builders to properties to deal with mould/condensation and alleged damp issues, all too often they report that there is little they can do to stop the problem with radiators full of wet clothes drying, windows closed, pans on cooker with the ventilation taped over and bathroom and showers not being ventilated even where there is a facility to do so.

How about turning the problem on its head and targeting tenants to ensure that they know what “they” have to do to help resolve the problem: that the cause may be their lifestyle.

It seems to me that requiring landlords to upgrade to EPC C will not necessarily resolve the issue of mould and condensation whereas education of tenants (and landlords where necessary) explaining how the problems can be avoided would be much more effective and constructive.

In the meantime, carry on blaming the landlords, as that is the easiest means of being seen to do something.

Juan Degales

13:59 PM, 22nd February 2023, About A year ago

I had 8 rentals,now down to two, will not be re renting when current tenants vacate. Thoroughly dejected with all the demonisation of landlords. I’ve always been decent to my tenants,have had enough.

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