Armstrong: NI must follow guidelines on damp and mould

Alliance Housing Spokesperson Kellie Armstrong has said the UK Government’s strict guidelines on damp and mould does not apply to landlords in NI.

Kellie Armstrong Housing

This means in England and Wales landlords are required to solve the underlying problems creating damp and mould, yet in NI tenants have no such protection.

Kellie said: “Too often landlords blame tenants saying they don’t open windows and cause the issue by drying clothes on radiators. Many tenants are exasperated by such excuses as it is clear wet walls are due to a failure of the fabric of their home rather than tenant actions. 

“The new guidance issued in England and Wales does not extend to NI. Landlords in NI will not have to comply with these new legal standards. Awaab's Law will force social landlords to fix damp and mould within strict time limits, in new amendment to the Social Housing Regulation Bill. New powers for Housing Ombudsman to help landlords improve performance, in amendments to the Social Housing (Regulation) Bill, England.

“Extending this legal protection for tenants is top of my agenda for a returning NI Assembly. Every day the DUP blocks a return to Stormont is another day where laws and rules to protect tenants cannot be legislated on.

“This break in parity means people across NI will continue to have to live with mould and damp that contributes to lung and breathing issues and ill health. People here will not have the legal protections that will require landlords to provide maintenance and solutions to remove mould and damp from homes.

Having no Executive or NI Assembly is harming people across NI.

“We need to see urgent reform to end this cycle of stop-go politics so frequently shown by the DUP and Sinn Fein, by moving to weighted majority voting, where no Party has the ability to collapse the government of NI, and no Party has the ability to abuse people of NI by using us as leverage for political negotiations.”