The Mayor of London has asked the government to do more to tackle the issue of damp and mouldy properties.

Sadiq Khan said councils aren’t sufficiently empowered to punish bad landlords who let issues with mould fester, while there are too few borough enforcement offices with the skills and legal knowledge needed to help tenants.

The Mayor’s Better Renting Programme was altered this year to provide training to council officers on dealing with damp and mould issues. The Mayor said more than 300 borough environmental officers have now acquired new skills through the programme.

Khan said: “The provision of adequate housing is critical to building a better London for everyone and every single Londoner should have the right to a safe and secure home. That’s why I am funding the training of specialist officers to ensure homes meet a decent standard and why I am determined to see much tougher penalties for rogue landlords who rent out private properties in poor and dangerous conditions.

“This action can only come from the Government, but the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement proved a missed opportunity to clamp down on sub-par housing, and invest in the delivery of more high-quality, affordable homes. Nevertheless, I will continue to do all I can support London’s 2.7m renters by calling on the Government to finally end no-fault evictions, give me the powers to freeze private rents and, deliver the £4.9bn a year required to build the affordable homes Londoners desperately need.”

The Mayor visited a Lewisham property in Wednesday where the tenant, a pregnant mother with two young children, was forced into temporary accommodation in September after the flat was judged to be unsafe by Lewisham Council due to issues of damp and mould.

The tenant raised the issue a full year ago, and the landlord in question still hasn’t been taken to task.

Nearly a fifth (18%) of privately rented homes in London are deemed ‘non-decent’, officials say.