Sadiq Khan pushes for tougher penalties for landlords over mouldy homes

Sadiq Khan pushes for tougher penalties for landlords over mouldy homes

0:03 AM, 30th November 2023, About 3 months ago 49

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The London Mayor is calling for tougher sanctions for private landlords who let out mouldy homes in the capital.

Sadiq Khan wants to see rent rebates doubled if landlords fail to fix mouldy and draughty homes in London.

As part of the mayor’s measures, Rent Repayment Orders – legal orders which require rogue private landlords to pay back rent to tenants for various offences – could be extended from 12 months to two years’ worth of rent.

Under Mr Khan’s proposals a tenant paying the average London asking rent of £2,627 a month, could mean a landlord has to pay back the tenant up to £63,000 in rent if found in violation.

Fail to meet Decent Homes Standard

According to research by Generation Rent, private renters in London are disproportionately likely to be defined as ‘vulnerable’.

Nearly a fifth (18%) of privately rented homes in London fail to meet the Decent Homes Standard, with more than 178,000 private rented properties in the capital classified as ‘non-decent’.

A Freedom of Information request by Generation Rent revealed that damp and mould complaints accounted for nearly a third (28%) of category-one hazards in London, posing serious health and safety risks.

Incidents reported to London councils were more than twice the proportion seen across England.

Building a better London for everyone

Alongside proposals for tougher actions on landlords, Mr Khan has also announced a new mayoral initiative to help deliver training for borough environmental health officers to tackle damp and mouldy homes.

He said: “The provision of adequate housing is critical to building a better London for everyone and every single Londoner should have the right to a safe and secure home.

“That’s why I am funding the training of specialist officers to ensure homes meet a decent standard and why I am determined to see much tougher penalties for rogue landlords who rent out private properties in poor and dangerous conditions.”

He added: “This action can only come from the government, but the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement proved a missed opportunity to clamp down on sub-par housing, and invest in the delivery of more high-quality, affordable homes.”

The Mayor also repeated calls for an immediate two-year rent freeze and to immediately pass the Renters Reform Bill, including the removal of Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions.

Mr Khan says he wants to ensure that renters aren’t deterred from reporting damp and mould due to the risk of retaliatory eviction.


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Comments

moneymanager

9:51 AM, 30th November 2023, About 3 months ago

Mr Kahn and "Generation Rent" will be responsible for a lot of homeless people.

Derek t

9:57 AM, 30th November 2023, About 3 months ago

90%plus of all mould Ive encountered in rented property is caused by tenants drying clothes indoors not heating the whole house not cleaning and ventilating correctly.
This is just another reason to sell up.
We fit positive pressure units to our properties to combat the lack of tenants venting correctly.

Adrian Jones

10:08 AM, 30th November 2023, About 3 months ago

Perhaps he should channel his energy solving the soaring crime rate, including murder, in the capital.

Frank Jennings

10:17 AM, 30th November 2023, About 3 months ago

Well if the tennants insist on drying their wet clothes on the radiators, and insist on keeping all the windows closed as well as the window vents, not using the bathroom ventilation extractor after a steamy hot bath/shower, and insist on boiling water during cooking, without puting on the kitchen ventilation extractor, and insist on not putting on the central heating but run calorgas heaters, insist on blocking up all the air vents then they are going to experience condensation and thereby mould growth.
Its inevitable as surely as night follows day. Its physics, and can't be fixed unless the tennants behave differently in their lifestyle. You can insulate all you like, but with that much water vapour being produced in the house/home with nowhere for it to escape, it can only attract mould growth on any cold surfaces.
There has to be some reasonable approach to this common problem. It's no use punishing the LL for things he has no control over. Maybe the council would do better, by employing experts who could solve the damp/mould problems and then charge the LL with a fee, once the problem has been fixed, if it turned out to be a fault with the property. If it was the tennants fault, then they should be charged. What's wrong with that as a reasonable solution? Or maybe you have a better, fairer idea?

Jack Craven

10:29 AM, 30th November 2023, About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by moneymanager at 30/11/2023 - 09:51
That’s why I am funding the training of specialist officers to ensure homes meet a decent standard and why I am determined to see much tougher penalties for rogue landlords who rent out private properties in poor and dangerous conditions.”
He'll be funding it from what he steals from the landlords.

David100

10:39 AM, 30th November 2023, About 3 months ago

I have a property I rent out, it never had any mould problems. Then I had one tenant, who constantly called me about mould. Every time I went to see, he had all the radiators covered with wet clothes. All the windows were closed. I bought him a tumble dryer. Still had mould problems. When I asked if he was using the dryer, he said "no, it uses too much electricity" When he finally left, he told me that every property he ever rented had a mould problem. Sounds like a YOU problem I told him.

Martin Roberts

10:49 AM, 30th November 2023, About 3 months ago

Will the council be repaying rent, too?

JeggNegg

11:06 AM, 30th November 2023, About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Frank Jennings at 30/11/2023 - 10:17
Well said. It’s NOT reasonable to expect the landlord to be accountable for damp/mould on walls etc if the tenant doesn’t carry out all the options they have to reduce/prevent or even stop mould. I fully understand their reasons for not doing what will stop mould, but I have to follow the same process in my house to reduce the risk of getting mould.. sadly their is not a magic wand we can wave. Why is this problem suddenly high profile and seams to be escalating ?

Shining Wit

11:08 AM, 30th November 2023, About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Frank Jennings at 30/11/2023 - 10:17
What a sensible suggestion:

Maybe the council would do better, by employing experts who could solve the damp/mould problems and then charge the LL with a fee, once the problem has been fixed, if it turned out to be a fault with the property. If it was the tennants fault, then they should be charged.

Dennis Forrest

11:17 AM, 30th November 2023, About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by David100 at 30/11/2023 - 10:39IMO dehumidifiers are the cheapest option for tenants wanting to dry clothes inside. Some of the Meaco models use only 165 watts costing about 4p per hour to run. Downside is they are not quick like radiators or a tumble dryer but will dry a load of washing overnight. Also weak or lazy tenants might have difficulty emptying the water tank when it is full.

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