Hackney Council Increases Funding to Tackle Damp and Mould Issues in Private Rented Homes
Hackney Council has increased funding by 25% (£400,000) per year to its private sector enforcement team to improve living conditions and step up enforcement against rogue landlords who put lives at risk by ignoring serious damp and mould issues. The Council aims to expand its capacity and ensure private landlords meet their duty to tackle damp and mould and provide a good, safe home to their tenants.
The announcement is part of the Council’s pledge to address damp and mould issues across all housing types in Hackney in response to the tragic case of Awaab Ishak, a two-year-old who died following prolonged exposure to mould in his family home in Rochdale. The Council plans to tackle damp and mould in its own housing stock by addressing all reported damp and mould issues within five days and offering a new next working day repair service to respond to reports of leaks.
Since 1 December, the Council has responded to over 70 reports of damp and mould in privately rented homes, with each report acted on within five days and enforcement notices served where landlords fail to take steps to resolve the issue.
Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney, and Cllr Sem Moema, Mayoral Adviser for Private Renting and Housing Affordability, joined the enforcement team on a visit to a resident in Clapton who is experiencing extensive issues with damp and mould. The tenant has lived in the home for around five years with her five-year-old daughter. Council officers found mould in the bedroom and covering the wall and ceiling in the bathroom, as well as high humidity in the kitchen causing the appliances to rust. The resident’s daughter has developed a chronic cough likely caused by the mould, forcing the mother and daughter to sleep in the living room. Rather than dealing with the damp, the landlord has served the resident with two S21 evictions – a no-fault eviction which the Council is lobbying the government to ban. The Council is working to take enforcement action to force the landlord to undertake the required repairs.
The investment is the latest boost for the Council’s #BetterRenting campaign, which strives for a better system for the over 30,000 private renters in Hackney by supporting tenants, challenging the government, and tackling rogue landlords. The funding boost will allow the Council to use every power to raise standards of accommodation and challenge rogue landlords in the borough while continuing to lobby the national government for the protections that private renters deserve, said Cllr Sem Moema.