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Awaab's Law. What Is It and What Does It Mean For Landlords and Tenants?

Updated on
April 22, 2024

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In the wake of the heart-rending tragedy involving the death of young Awaab Ishak due to prolonged exposure to mould in his home, the UK government has introduced "Awaab’s Law." This landmark legislation represents a significant shift in how damp and mould issues are handled in social housing, placing new responsibilities on both landlords and tenants to ensure safer, healthier living conditions.

Awaab’s Law: An Overview

Awaab’s Law has been implemented to directly tackle the problems of damp and mould in social housing. It’s important to note, Awaab’s Law is part of the Social Housing (Regulation) Act 2023, the set of mandatory responsibilities below apply only to landlords of - and tenants in - social housing. Core concepts introduced include:

  • Mandatory Action for Landlords: Social housing landlords are now obligated to investigate and rectify damp and mould concerns promptly.
  • Strengthened Powers of the Housing Ombudsman: The law enhances the authority of the Housing Ombudsman, enabling them to more effectively oversee landlords' compliance.
  • Inclusion in Tenancy Agreements: These rules are embedded within tenancy contracts, empowering tenants to legally demand decent living conditions.

What Does Awaab's Law Mean for Landlords?

  • Prompt Investigation and Remediation: Landlords must swiftly address reported damp and mould issues, identifying the root cause and implementing solutions.
    • Investigate potential hazards within 14 calendar days of being made aware.
    • Provide residents a written summary of investigation findings within 48 hours, detailing any hazards found and next steps.
    • Begin repair works within 7 calendar days if a hazard is found that poses a significant health or safety risk to the resident.
    • Complete repairs within a reasonable timeframe, considering resident needs.
    • Address emergency repairs that pose imminent danger within 24 hours.
  • Alternative accommodation. Offer to arrange alternative accommodation at the landlord's expense if hazards cannot be addressed quickly enough.
  • Upholding Decent Living Standards: Homes must be free from serious hazards, with landlords proactively preventing damp and mould through regular checks and maintenance. Hazards covered include the 29 under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System, such as damp and mould, excess cold, fire, electrical hazards, etc.
  • Professionalisation Standards: Senior housing staff are required to acquire or work towards recognised housing management qualifications, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of health risks and legal obligations.
  • Record Keeping. Landlords must keep thorough records throughout the repair process

What Does Awaab's Law Mean For Tenants?

  1. Reporting Issues: Tenants must inform landlords about any damp and mould problems, providing detailed information for effective resolution.
  2. Cooperation with Landlords: This includes allowing access for inspections and repairs and adhering to advice given to prevent or mitigate issues.
  3. Awareness of Rights: Tenants should know their rights to a hazard-free home and the legal avenues available if landlords do not comply within set timeframes.

Broader Implications

While specifically targeting social housing, the principles of Awaab’s Law resonate across the housing sector. Similar standards for safe and healthy homes are reflected in other legislation, including the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 and the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, applicable to private rentals.


Awaab’s Law marks a significant step towards ensuring healthier living environments in social housing. By clearly delineating the responsibilities of landlords and tenants, it aims to prevent tragedies like that of Awaab Ishak and foster a culture of safety and wellbeing in UK homes. For landlords and tenants alike, understanding and adhering to these new regulations is not just a legal requirement, but a moral imperative to protect the most vulnerable in society.