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Damp and mould: understanding and addressing the health risks for rented housing providers

The comprehensive damp and mould guidance has been published by the government building on the work it has already done to drive up rental standards.

“Following the tragic and avoidable death of Awaab Ishak we have made it clear that landlords must take damp and mould seriously, and they will be held to account if they do not do so,” said Rachel Maclean, Minister of State for Housing and Planning.

“Now we are going further and publishing clear guidance for the housing sector. This unambiguous package leaves no room for excuses – and sets out the clear expectation that landlords must respond swiftly when dealing with damp and mould, to ensure renters can live in safe and decent housing – as is their absolute right.

“This builds on the work we have already done to drive up standards including pledging to introduce Awaab’s Law, which will give social landlords strict time limits to make repairs.”


  • The Social Housing Resident Panel continues to play an invaluable role in shaping important social housing policies, bringing together residents across England to share views on how to improve quality and living conditions, including on damp and mould issues.
  • The Secretary of State previously announced £30 million funding to social housing providers in the Greater Manchester and West Midlands Combined Authorities to tackle damp and mould issues.
  • The Four Million Homes programme provides free information, guidance and training to help residents work with their landlords to ensure homes are well maintained.
  • A review was recently launched on the Decent Homes Standard to consider a range of measures extending requirements to the private rented sector, providing an updated list of services and facilities for every property, and ensuring standards to tackle damp and mould can be strengthened.

Health Minister Neil O’Brien said: “Damp and mould pose serious health risks and this new guidance gives landlords the information they need to protect their tenants from potentially life-threatening housing conditions.

“The tragic death of Awaab Ishak should never be repeated and it is the responsibility of landlords to identify and address the underlying causes of damp and mould as soon as it occurs.”

Read the comprehensive damp and mould guidance.

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