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