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| 3 minutes read

Consultation on Awaab’s Law published

Awaab’s Law, which was introduced in the Social Housing Regulation Act 2023, requires landlords to investigate and fix reported health hazards within specified timeframes. The consultation, with proposals for what these should be, was published on 9 January 2024.

The new rules will form part of a tenancy agreement, so that tenants can hold landlords to account by law if they fail to provide a decent home.

The consultation provides background information covering the context and background to Awaab’s Law, hazards and repairs in social housing, new policy and upcoming changes, how Awaab’s Law will be enforced and how the legal route to redress will operate. It also sets out which hazards will be included within the scope of Awaab’s Law and sets out each policy proposal in turn.

Key points from the consultation include the following: 

  • Awaab’s Law should take into account the 29 health and safety hazards set out by the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).
  • Hazards should be defined as those that pose a significant risk to the health or safety of the actual resident of the dwelling. This means that a hazard does not have to be at category 1 level in order to be in the scope of Awaab’s Law. 
  • To determine whether a hazard poses a significant risk and is therefore in scope of Awaab’s Law, the recommendation is that landlords use their judgement and the existing processes they have in place for triaging repairs. 

The following proposals are set out within the consultation: 

  1. Where a landlord is made aware of a potential hazard in a home, they must investigate within 14 calendar days to ascertain if there is a hazard.
  2. Within 14 calendar days of being made aware that there is a potential hazard, the landlord must provide a written summary of findings to the resident that includes details of any hazard identified and (if applicable) next steps, including an anticipated timeline for repair and a schedule of works. It is proposed that residents be issued with a written summary of the findings of the investigation within 48 hours of the investigation concluding. In some cases (for example issues involving structural damp) a full investigation into the cause of the problem will take longer than 14 days. Landlords will still be required to conduct an initial investigation as soon as possible and within that 14-day period to assess the severity of the issue and determine next steps (which may include arranging for a specialist damp survey). If a landlord is not be in a position to set out exact dates for next steps, they should provide an estimated timeframe to residents and follow up with specific timings.
  3. Landlords be given 7 days to begin work to a property if a medical professional believes there is a risk to a resident's health. 
  4. Landlords must satisfactorily complete repair works within a reasonable time period. The resident should be informed of this time period and their needs should be considered.
  5. Landlords must action emergency repairs as soon as practicable and, in any event, within 24 hours. Hazards that pose significant and imminent danger to residents will require faster action and should be treated as an emergency.
  6. In the event that the investigation finds a hazard that poses a significant, or a significant and imminent, risk of harm or danger, and the property cannot be made safe within the specified timescales for Awaab’s Law, the landlord must offer to arrange for the occupant(s) to stay in suitable alternative accommodation until it is safe to return.
  7. Landlords will be expected to keep clear records of all attempts to comply with the proposals, including records of all correspondence with the resident(s) and any contractors. If the landlord makes all reasonable attempts to comply with the timescales but is unable to for reasons genuinely beyond their control, they will be expected to provide a record of the reasons that prevented them from doing so.  

The issue of being unable to gain access is also addressed; if a resident is unwilling or unable to provide access to the landlord within the timescales, the landlord will not be in breach for missing the timescales. However, they will be expected to continue to work as quickly as possible to enter the property to investigate and/or remedy the hazard. Once the landlord has accessed the property, proposed timescales are set out. 

You can respond by completing this online survey. The survey is set to close on 5 March 2024.

If you would like any further information, please contact Donna McCarthy or Victoria Smith.


housing management & property litigation, news, damp and mould, tenant consultation, housing management & property litigation brief, housing associations, landlords, registered providers, housing sector