Awaab's Law

05 March 2024

We have submitted a full response to the government’s consultation on Awaab’s Law.

What is Awaab's Law?

The death of Awaab Ishaak was a tragedy that shocked the housing sector and the NHF and our members are committed to ensuring that nothing like it ever happens again. We and our members are committed to working with the government to achieve this.

Awaab’s Law was introduced in July 2023 as part of the Social Housing (Regulation) Act following a petition by Awaab Ishak’s parents, the Manchester Evening News and Shelter.

This legislation effectively inserts into social housing tenancy agreements a term that will require landlords to comply with new requirements, to be set out in detail through secondary legislation. This means all registered providers of social housing will have to meet these requirements and if they fail to do so, tenants will be able to hold their landlords to account by taking legal action through the courts for a breach of contract.


In January 2024, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) launched a consultation on Awaab’s Law and on 5 March 2024, following extensive engagement with our members, we submitted a detailed response.

Summary of our response

There is strong support in the sector for the objectives of the Awaab’s Law campaign to set strict timelines for damp and mould to be inspected and repaired. Throughout the consultation members told us how committed they are to implementing these.

We want to ensure the proposals are focused, clear and deliverable for housing associations, to ensure the best outcome for residents. However, many members raised concerns that the proposals as set out in the consultation (which differ from the original proposals) may have unintended consequences and thereby risk delivering worse outcomes for residents.

Broadening the scope of Awaab’s Law to include all 29 hazards in the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) risks placing unsustainable pressure on surveyors and other specialists qualified to assess whether each hazard presents a serious risk of harm. It could also overwhelm rapid repair resources with issues already covered by existing legislation and processes. In addition, certain hazards, in particular overcrowding, are outside of housing associations’ control and require significant government investment in building new social housing to address.

Housing associations are firmly committed to implementing Awaab’s Law as swiftly as possible in a way that delivers the best outcome for residents. We believe that improving the efficiency of addressing damp, mould and condensation cases is deliverable if it remains the focus of Awaab’s Law and the system is not overwhelmed with other cases. Our response to the consultation therefore strongly recommends that proposals focus on damp, mould and condensation in the first instance.

When it comes to other HHSRS hazards, our response makes clear that we would welcome the opportunity to work with the government to address these issues, but we think residents will be best served if they were dealt with separately.

NHF members can log in to download our full response.

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Next steps

While we wait for the government to issue a response to the consultation, we’re still engaging with them to push for an effective and workable implementation of Awaab’s Law that is focused on delivering improved outcomes for residents. This page will be updated as necessary.

Who to speak to

Annie Owens, Policy Leader