Plan to change law on black mould in homes welcomed

 In Home Improvements, News

Householders and tenants need to check their homes regularly to ensure there is no black mould, said Midlands green energy expert Ron Fox.

Under new government proposals announced recently, dubbed “Awaab’s law”, social housing landlords in England could be forced to repair mouldy properties much more quickly.

These plans have been brought in after two-year-old Awaab Ishak died in 2020 after prolonged exposure to mould in his home in Rochdale.

“These changes are long overdue and very necessary as many people don’t realise that mould can cause respiratory illnesses, allergies and asthma, and can sometimes be fatal,” said Ron.

Black mould is a microscopic fungi that grows in damp places and are released in their thousands into the atmosphere.

Inhaling or touching the spores that mould releases into the air can cause an allergic reaction, such as sneezing, a runny nose, red eyes and a skin rash. They can also trigger asthma attacks and cause coughing, wheezing and breathlessness.

Each year, the NHS in England spends an estimated £1.4bn on treating illnesses associated with living in cold or damp housing, according to the Building Research Establishment (BRE).

“Residents and tenants need to look for the signs of mould which include fuzzy black, white or green patches on the walls, and a damp and musty smell,” said Ron, of Noreus Ltd on the University of Keele Science Innovation Park.

He said condensation is the main cause of mould in homes across the UK and occurs where there are high levels of moisture, such as bathrooms, kitchens and around windows. It is also important to check for leaky pipes or poor guttering which can make the problem worse.

Mould can also be caused by taking showers, cooking and drying washing indoors.

Ron said taking shorter showers and wiping down surfaces afterwards can help.

Also, when cooking, open kitchen windows or use an extractor fan to improve ventilation when cooking.

For tenants, it is the landlord’s responsibility to fix a mould problem which is due to poor maintenance. And if the mould is so bad the home becomes unfit for habitation, then tenants could be classed as homeless and entitled to emergency accommodation.

However, landlords may not be responsible if there is evidence a tenant has not been ventilating the home correctly.

Under the planned new legislation social landlords would have to investigate problems of mould within the new time limits of 14 days and begin fixing them within a further seven days.

Emergency repairs would have to be made within 24 hours and landlords who fail to comply could be taken to court and ordered to pay compensation.

A consultation about the changes for landlords and tenants under the Social Housing Bill will be launched later this year.

It is hoped these new rules will become part of the tenancy agreement so tenants can hold landlords to account by law if they fail to provide a decent home.

If you want any advice about getting rid of black mould, contact Ron on 01782 756995 or go to

Caption: Act now if black mould is spotted in the home.

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