Mayor of London launches new damp & mould initiative

The Mayor of London has launched a new initiative to crack down on damp and mould in the capital's homes.

The initiative will help local authority housing enforcement officers acquire new skills to help them identify and deal with damp and mouldy homes.

Sadiq Khan has also called for tougher sanctions for unscrupulous private landlords who let out sub-par homes.

More than 70 local authority officers have so far received specific damp and mould training as part of the Mayor’s wider Better Renting programme.

The Mayor is also urging the Government to increase Rent Repayment Orders – legal orders which require rogue private landlords to pay back rent to tenants for various offences – from 12 months to two years’ worth of rent as a deterrent.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “The provision of adequate housing is critical to building a better London for everyone and every single Londoner should have the right to a safe and secure home.

“That’s why I am funding the training of specialist officers to ensure homes meet a decent standard and why I am determined to see much tougher penalties for rogue landlords who rent out private properties in poor and dangerous conditions.  

“This action can only come from the Government, but the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement proved a missed opportunity to clamp down on sub-par housing, and invest in the delivery of more high-quality, affordable homes.

“Nevertheless, I will continue to do all I can support London’s 2.7m renters by calling on the Government to finally end no-fault evictions, give me the powers to freeze private rents and, deliver the £4.9bn a year required to build the affordable homes Londoners desperately need.”

Cllr Will Cooper, Lewisham Council’s cabinet member for housing management and homelessness, said: “Too many private landlords are failing to tackle damp and mould in their properties, leaving tenants in unliveable conditions and putting them at risk of homelessness at a time when local services are already under immense strain.

“With more of our officers being trained up through the Mayor of London’s Better Renting programme, we are better placed to support tenants facing these issues, hold private landlords accountable and ensure action is taken. Yet with spiralling rents and the continued threat of no-fault evictions, many private renters are forced to choose between living in sub-standard accommodation or being made homeless.

“We need the Government to ensure the Mayor and local councils have the powers and funding necessary to improve private renting in London and tackle the housing crisis, so that everybody has a safe, secure place to call home.”

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