There won’t be a corresponding law for private landlords following the implementation of Awaab’s Law. The Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government is currently in the consultation phase, aiming to crack down on rogue social landlords. The proposed measures include enforcing strict time limits on social housing providers, compelling them to promptly address issues such as damp and mould to ensure safer living conditions. While these regulations are targeted at social housing, private landlords are not expected to be subjected to similar legislative requirements at this time.
The Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government is considering new legal requirements for social landlords aimed at addressing hazards promptly. According to the proposal, these landlords would need to investigate potential hazards within 14 days, commence repairs within the subsequent seven days, and attend to emergency repairs within 24 hours. Non-compliance may result in legal action, potentially leading to court-ordered compensation for affected tenants.
As part of these potential changes, social landlords would be mandated to maintain transparent records, demonstrating their efforts to adhere to the proposed timescales. This measure aims to enhance accountability and prevent delays in resolving housing issues, ensuring tenants have a clearer understanding of the steps taken by landlords to address concerns.
It’s noteworthy that, in contrast, the government has decided against implementing a comparable law for private landlords. This decision highlights a distinction in regulatory approaches between social and private landlords, potentially sparking discussions about the varying responsibilities and standards expected in the different sectors of the rental market.
In the House of Lords, Baroness Scott of Bybrook, the housing minister, addressed Peers, highlighting distinctions among rental housing types. Nearly half of private landlords own just one property, with the majority having fewer than five. This sets them apart from social housing landlords, as only a handful have dedicated repair and maintenance teams. This lack of resources makes addressing issues more challenging.
Recognizing the unique dynamics of the private rented sector, we aim for legislation with reasonable timescales. However, steps are being taken to enhance the safety and livability of private rental homes. The Renters Reform Bill, set to arrive in the House shortly, is part of our efforts in this direction.
We’ve made changes to the Bill, bringing a decent homes standard to the private rental sector and empowering local councils to address non-decent homes. This upcoming Bill, which will be presented to the House soon, also includes the establishment of a new ombudsman for the private rented sector, endowed with additional powers.
On the social housing front, Housing Secretary Michael Gove states, “Today marks a decisive move against social landlords who have neglected their basic responsibilities for too long. We will compel them to rectify home issues within strict time frames and take immediate action against dangerous damp and mould to prevent future tragedies.
“Complementing Awaab’s Law, our significant Social Housing Act will significantly enhance the quality of life in social housing. Residents will have a proper voice to challenge those attempting to exploit the system, and rogue landlords will face the full force of the law.”