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 6 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

Southern Boyuk

1:22 AM, 3rd December 2023, About 6 months ago

There is no problem with addressing rogue landlords, it’s these type of money, grabbing persons who give our industry a bad name.

It’s been stated already that a high percentage of so-called Dam is actually condensation from the tenants habitation, not following instructions within the AST, or Trying to save money on electricity by not using the properties ventilation installations.

Mr K, should go on a course himself to realise this, and at the same time Address, all the council and social housing, which is in such a bad state of Repair.

They’re also needs to be rulings where it is found it is the tenants lifestyle which is causing the problem and suitable fines for them, it cannot continue to be a one-way street and we all know that tenants will be trying it on. Even to the extent of fabricating, the condensation.

There needs to be a major revolt by good landlord in London and surrounding areas to ensure that any local legislation is not only thought through, but it is fairly balanced

Michael Riley

9:37 AM, 3rd December 2023, About 6 months ago

Most of the issues I see and hear about are not private landlords but council properties. Will the regulations include the council and will they be treated in the same way, I doubt it!

John Grefe

10:20 AM, 3rd December 2023, About 6 months ago

Re Derek T & Frank; I have been in this business for about 50 years and this mould problem, tenants blaming others & never themselves taking on their responsiblies has always been a problem. Part of the business! So, we don't reduce the problem quite successfully by installing motion sensitive extract fans not dependant on a human hand. Also, heat recovery ventilation system that completely eradicates it. DON'T allow your tenants to control the problem. But, we did have an intelligent woman who turned of the electricity(fuse) to the above & smoke detectors recently. Wow!

JeggNegg

11:10 AM, 3rd December 2023, About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Dennis Leverett at 02/12/2023 - 16:10
No probs.

JeggNegg

11:21 AM, 3rd December 2023, About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Southern Boyuk at 03/12/2023 - 01:22
Condensation,mould,is a national problem. Not just South east. Landlords should provide all suitable equipment to reduce condensation etc. if the tenant chooses not to use the facilities, ( extractor fan or open windows) due to cost or loss of heat, then surely their right to complain terminates. But if the AST refers to condensation being the tenants responsibility, and any untreated mould causes damage to the walls, is the tenant liable?

Darren Bell

19:38 PM, 3rd December 2023, About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by John Grefe at 03/12/2023 - 10:20
Wow, Smoke detectors and any heat recovery / positive ventilation should be wired to the lighting circuit. Tenants will always want lighting so more inclined not to turn off that breaker.

Zen

11:01 AM, 12th December 2023, About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ma'at Housing Solutions at 30/11/2023 - 12:31
Ma'at there are 2 main causes of damp and mold.

1) Penetrating - water penetrates walls, windows, ceilings and floors due to maintenance and construction issues. Leaks and lack or failure of damp proof membranes. This should absolutely be sorted out, I don't think anyone would ever dispute this. This seems to be a problem that social housing and rogue landlords suffer from because of lack of funding, maintenance and general neglect, which is totally out of order.

2) Condensation - due to water droplets in the air condensing on colder surfaces. This is NOT caused by lack of maintenance of the structure or pipes. It's mainly caused by lifestyle.

If there are too many water droplets in the air through lack of ventilation (not opening windows regularly, blocking up or turning off vents), lack of cleaning or too many being created (boiling caused by cooking/kettles, steam from long showers/baths, drying wet clothes indoors). I don't understand how a landlord can be blamed for a tenant who spends a long time in the shower without opening the windows or wiping the condensation caused.

If a landlord provides means of ventilation, heating and ensures a property is insulated, where possible, then that's the most they can do. Unless it is expected they gain access to clean/dry windows and walls for a tenant as well as open the windows to allow the property to be aired on a weekly basis.

If a landlord did this I'm pretty they would be vilified for not allowing a tenant quite enjoyment of there home.

It's a catch 22 situation. There has to be an element of common sense.

Mike D

14:54 PM, 18th December 2023, About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Jack Craven at 30/11/2023 - 10:29
Why are officials and the media so ignorant on this issue.
The vast majority of mould is caused by condensation, and the condensation is due to lack of heating and ventilation with water containment in the property.
If you want to blame anyone, it's either the tenant through ignorance or the builders that built the property.....
NOT the landlord

Gary Dully

7:53 AM, 22nd December 2023, About 5 months ago

More anti landlord hate speech from Khan.
If landlords were a race, he’d never get away with this sort of rhetoric and discrimination.

Eg: I’m calling for double fines for Blacks or Muslims who rent out houses that develop mould due to too high a humidity in their houses.
But take away the adjective and replace it with ‘landlords’ and apparently inflicting tougher discrimination against someone becomes acceptable.
He and other politicians need to be called out for this hate speech.
He doesn’t ask for nurses to be fined when any of their patients die from smoking, drinking or drugs, does he?

Mould is mainly caused by tenants
Hypocrite!

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