Mould to get very expensive for landlords and insurers!

The new law “Homes Fitness for Human habitation Act 2018” comes into effect from March 2020

This law means tenants can from 20/03/20, go directly to court with evidence that their home is a health hazard without the need for solicitor or barrister.

Mould has already been established as a Class 1 health hazard in the same band as asbestos in previous legislation (HHSRS 2006) where 29 different health risks are identified including mould.

Unfortunately, many misinterpret the HHSRS because it cannot be used for biological assessments, which of course requires laboratory assessments as the contamination in the air is invisible.

I see major liability when contractors remediate a water damaged home and haven’t proved decontamination to ensure the property is safe, as per British standards, and the new liability if found to be contaminated.

Of course, tenants will need to prove that a health hazard is present, and this can be simply achieved if they follow the low-cost evidence pack shortly to be introduced by Building Forensics.

The pack will include a swab which Building Forensics have developed with laboratories to identify viable and non-viable “Toxic” mould and bacteria. With a turnaround time of less than a week, the tenant can be armed with reasonable evidence for less than £300

The landlord apparently face fines up to £30,000 and costs up to £18,000.

I think it quite reasonable for this risk to be adopted by homeowners too and perhaps insurers and contractors should recognise health hazards and measurement techniques for biological assessments from water damage and compliance to British Standards which ABI ratified.Of course some will debate there is no proof mould is a health hazard so good luck with that defence.

See link to new law

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