Housing Ombudsman issues call for evidence for an investigation into social landlords’ approach to ‘damp and mould’.

“The mental and social health effects of dampness and mould should not be underestimated. Damage to decoration from mould or damp staining and the smells associated with damp and mould can cause depression and anxiety. Feelings of shame and embarrassment can lead to social isolation”, according to the Operation Guidance of Housing Health and Safety Rating System.

It is well know that the stock condition of council housing across East Kent was in very poor condition when managed by the now defunct East Kent Housing.

2017

2018

2019

2020

All four councils who made up East Kent Housing and went there separate ways in Oct 2020, are now undertaking a full stock survey of their housing. As such conditions regarding damp and mould are not yet known as the stock surveys have not yet been completed.

Now the Housing Ombudsman are currently undertaking an investigation into damp and mould and are calling for evidence submissions, from landlords and tenants council owned and Housing association accommodation, to ensure they can make far-reaching recommendations that promote greater understanding of the complexity of tackling damp and mould and share best practice across the sector – helping landlords to develop their policies and procedures with a view to improving the experience and lives of all residents. 

One can submit evidence by clicking the link here ⇒ Call for Evidence

It is important to stress the investigation by the Housing Ombudsman is looking at the broad issues of damp and mould across the sector; it is not looking at individual landlords and will not respond to individual complaints.  Information on how to make a complaint can be found here.

Many, housing association and council tenants do not report issues such as damp and mould for fear of recrimination from their council  or housing association.

Richard Blakeway, Housing Ombudsman, said:

  • “A decent home is a fundamental need but the impact of damp and mould can be significant on households, their health and their life chances. Our casebook gives cause for concern, with a high maladministration rate and sometimes substantial levels of compensation, although I am also concerned that we are not seeing cases where we could help, and want to investigate further into this issue.”

If you take part in the call for evidence your information will NOT be passed to your landlord so have no fear of a revenge eviction.

We would encourage all tenants whoever there landlords are to submit evidence to the Housing Ombudsman because failure to do so will mean tenants will continue to live in unfit housing which will damage their mental health and wellbeing.

In the 21st Century everyone has the right to live in a safe and compliant home regardless of who their landlord maybe.

The three images were taken by FHDC Council tenants, in different locations. Each of them have all reported their damp and mould prior to lockdown. According to them, they are still waiting a year on for any action to be taken on the damp and mould issues they are suffering from.

All homes shown are well ventilated yet still the issues persist.

It was in Feb 2021, five months after taking the housing stock back in house that Folkestone & Hythe District Council, commissioned a consultant to undertake full condition survey of its 3,300 plus council homes. This survey will cost the FHDC ratepayer £250,000. The Contract will start on the 20th April and end of the 15th Nov 2021. 

The Cabinet Member for Housing at Folkestone & Hythe District Council is Cllr David Godfrey (Con) and can be contacted at

david.godfrey@folkestone-hythe.gov.uk

Also one can contact your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau and/or Shelter

Finally, some solicitors offer legal aid work for disrepair which includes damp and mould. Locally there is TNA Solicitors, based in Folkestone.

The Shepway Vox Team

Dissent is NOT a Crime

About shepwayvox (1359 Articles)
Our sole motive is to inform the residents of Shepway - and beyond -as to that which is done in their name. email: shepwayvox@riseup.net

3 Comments on Housing Ombudsman issues call for evidence for an investigation into social landlords’ approach to ‘damp and mould’.

  1. I live in a particulary old house and I find that a good squirt of distilled white vinegar on interior black mold sorts out the probllem out in the short/medium term.

    That’s DISTILLED WHITE VINEGAR (Tesco £0.40p/ Asda £0.29p) NOT Brown Malt vinegar….

    https://housetrick.com/does-vinegar-kill-black-mold/

    Obviously it doesn’t sort out causes like leaking rooves, interior condensation or holes in walls etc.

    And it’s not the ideal solution for “Dave the Narcoleptic” to jump on when he wakes up.

  2. Thank you for this article.

    These issues do leave you with feelings of despair, isolation and undeserved shame.

    I live in an East Kent Housing/now Canterbury City Council property and from 2013 I have battled severe mould and mildew in what was the bedroom, the hallway, the bathroom and now the kitchen and the living room. In short the entire flat. I have fought this with anti mould and mildew spray, cleaning with vinegar, cleaning with bleach and painting each room with Dulux bathroom anti mould paint. It has been exhausting and demoralising. More importantly I have lost all my clothes, bedding, furniture, jewellery, keepsakes and pretty much everything I own to this.

    I have just kept going.

    I can no longer use “the bedroom” and am crammed into one room. I’ve lost all the storage space to mould and no longer have cupboards. I lost FOUR beds to this before giving up on having a bedroom, wardrobe etc. As each piece of furniture was ruined, coffee tables, wardrobes, beds etc I had help replacing them and they succumbed again. I’ve had a building inspector out 3 times who has told me “this reading is as high as my damp meter goes, your walls in the bedroom are not damp they are soaking wet”. Water continues to run down the walls of the “bedroom” for 7 months a year and drip off the ceiling. The gutters were not cleaned out annually for 7 years and the rain water was redirected into my bedroom, hall and bathroom walls. I’ve had 2 dehumidifiers going at the same time, ventilated all the rooms, to no avail. I’ve lost everything I own and then lost it again and again.

    From 2015 to 2018 social workers and care coordinators repeatedly told me “the Council won’t do anything about that”. I no longer have those due to cuts. This is the hardest I have worked, with getting everything cleaned and painted and dehumidfied etc just to see it all reappear.

    Thank you so much for bringing attention to this. I may try to get in touch with the Council now but it’s hard to find the courage after being under East Kent Housing. Even the double glazing here has damp trapped inbetween the windows.

    Thanks again and I apologise for the length of this but your article does feel like a ray of light.

    • Mould is created by condensation, its secondary school science. Moisture laden air contacts items below its dew point and turns back into moisture on that item. Mould spores are in all environments its just uncontaminated moisture is an ideal condition for Mould spores to settle, grow and relocate.

      Everyone is breathing in mould spores, all of the time.

      Lower internal humidity or warm surface…… no more mould. Open the window and turn your heating up, use the extraction in moisture creating areas….. what a fuss over nothing, now my tax money has to go to people who don’t understand how a house works….. let’s just stuff cavity insulation in a cavity that saves me 40 a year on heating yet allows cold spots to bridge the cavity………. come on really.

      Council culture, its someone’s else’s fault boo hoo.

      Everyone focuses on the mould it’s created by condensation, what a waste of time…….

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