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Landlords – fix damp or be fined, say new government plans

Landlords who fail to investigate and fix damp problems within time limits could be fined, as part of new government plans.

The move also means that 25,000 social housing managers currently working in England will need to achieve formal qualifications regulated by Ofqual.

These would be equivalent to a level 4 or 5 certificate or diploma in housing or they could have a foundation degree in the Chartered Institute of Housing.

Plans have been put in place following the death of Rochdale toddler Awaab Ishak who died as a result of prolonged exposure to mould in a flat on his council-run estate. 

The government said ensuring managers had appropriate qualifications would bring social housing in line with frontline services including social work and teaching.

The changes would be made through amendments to the Social Housing (Regulation) Bill.

The legislation will return to parliament on Wednesday, March 1.

Any landlord who failed to meet the new standards requirements could eventually receive an unlimited fine from the Regulator of Social Housing.

The proposals come in response to the Grenfell Tower fire, which killed 72 people in 2017.

Grenfell United – a group of survivors and bereaved family members – welcomes the plans.

Housing secretary Michael Gove said both Grenfell and the death of Awaab Ishak showed the “devastating consequences of residents inexcusably being let down by poor performing landlords who consistently failed to listen to them.

“We know that many social housing residents are not receiving the service or respect they deserve.

“The changes we are delivering will make sure social housing managers across the country have the right skills and experience to deliver an excellent service and drive up standards across the board.”

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