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The work we've done to improve our response to damp and mould



We created a Damp and Mould Task Force early in 2022 following the Housing Ombudsman’s spotlight report on damp and mould. The aim of the task force was to ensure we have an improved focus and sufficient resources to address the issue. Since the Rochdale case emerged in November, we have looked again at strengthening our approach further.

We identified all of the damp and mould cases reported in the last 12 months and of these, identified 116 active cases which we will be reviewing to ensure they are being resolved for our residents.
We plan to follow up on all of the other cases to check that the remedial work we did was effective, and then to go back a further six months to ensure we’ve addressed all of the cases reported in the last 18 months.
If you have concerns about damp and mould in your home, please get in touch with us.

Our Property Surveyors assess our properties against the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, and if the standard is not being met, a referral will be made for an assessment under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) and Decent Homes Standard. Our Property Surveyors will receive additional training so that they are all consistent with their approach, and to improve knowledge and technical skills around the HHSRS standard. All of our colleagues from across the organisation and contractors who visit residents at home will be asked to be more aware of damp and mould, and raise a surveyor inspection request if there are any concerns within a home.

Some of the changes to our processes include:

  • Ensuring that a heat loss calculation assessment is completed, and recommendations implemented. 
  • Obtaining an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the home and reviewing recommendations for implementation, where possible.  
  • Ensuring that adequate ventilation ‘humidistat’ fans are installed.  
  • Obtaining a report from our specialist damp experts. 
  • All surveyors now have high-quality damp meters and Therma-Hygrometers. These identify where homes have the conditions that enable condensation to occur as they measure the balance of temperature and humidity.  
  • We have purchased new sensors that can monitor the air quality in homes and will be piloting these with some residents.

We recognise some residents may not contact us again if the issue reoccurs. This means we need to do more on ‘aftercare’, follow up on our work to resolve damp, and ensure language is not a barrier to communication. Every resident with a new or live case of damp and mould will be contacted monthly for a follow up call and we will complete a whole year of follow up contact before formally closing a damp and mould case. We are increasing the number of people in our Property Team so that the important follow up contact is always made.

One of the key learning points from Rochdale is that the focus needs to be on ‘people’ as well as ‘property’.  We have reviewed our inspection checklist so that it now explicitly requires:

  • Data capture of everyone living in the home and if there is an overcrowding issue they will be referred to their Neighbourhood Manager for advice on transfer options.   
  • Health issues and vulnerabilities to be recorded and considered as part of planning the remedial works and if temporary accommodation is needed. 
  • referral to our in-house Financial Support Team if residents are not using heating systems because of cost-of-living pressures. The Financial Support Team can give advice on money management and financial support or grants that might be available.      

We are also developing a new mould assistance pack, to include a Therma-Hygrometer (mentioned above), mould preventing house plants and passive dehumidifier pods. We have also updated the general advice on our website and will continue to keep this updated moving forward.