Condensation, Damp and Mould Policy

Condensation, Damp and Mould Policy

1. Purpose

1.1 The policy ensures that all One Manchester customers who experience condensation, damp and mould issues within their homes are listened too and action is taken to treat the root cause in a timely manner.

1.2 For each reported instance the policy outlines the process to ensure that the correct identification of condensation and damp and to ensure appropriate remedial action is taken.

1.3 The action is to include repairs, but may also include detailed guidance, advice or support from the visiting One Manchester Officer. Where required there will be recommendations for further referrals and support, e.g. move to temporary accommodation, further energy advice and customer support.

2. Regulatory requirements

2.1 The Regulator of Social Housing’s Home Standard requires social landlords to comply with the Decent Homes Standard, which was updated in 2006 to take account of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).

2.2 According to the Decent Homes Standard, for a home to be considered ‘decent’ it must:

· Meet the current statutory minimum standard for housing

· Be in a reasonable state of repair

· Have reasonably modern facilities and services, and

· Provide a reasonable degree of thermal comfort.

3. Legislative Requirements


3.1 The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 amended the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, with the aim of ensuring that all rented accommodation is fit for human habitation. While it did not create new obligations for landlords, it required landlords to ensure their properties are fit for human habitation at the beginning of, and throughout, the tenancy.

3.2 The Landlord and Tenant Act does not define “fit for human habitation”, but consideration should be given to repair, stability, freedom from damp, internal arrangement, natural lighting, ventilation, water supply, drainage and sanitary conveniences, facilities for preparation and cooking of food, the disposal of wastewater and any prescribed hazard. The Act also strengthened tenants’ means of redress where landlords do not fulfil their obligations, with the expectation that if tenants are empowered to take action against their landlord, standards will improve.

4. Our overall framework to tackle condensation, damp and mould 

4.1 We operate a zero tolerance stance against condensation, damp and mould and have introduced proactive approach to identifying the root cause and completing remedial works to tackle this.

4.2 Our Healthy Homes Team will utilise data to support a risk based, proactive approach to identifying and surveying homes that may be at risk from condensation, damp and mould. This will reduce over reliance on residents to report issues, help us identify hidden issues and support us to anticipate and prioritise interventions before a complaint or disrepair claim is made.

4.3 From the surveys and data we aim to introduce a continuous programme of work to tackle condensation, damp and mould across our homes. This includes introducing monitoring technology.

4.4 Our neighbourhood model is designed to understand our customers and their homes in detail and the insights from this will allow us to tailor and deliver services in a more pre-emptive way. We will be prioritising tenancy visits using a risk-based approach, using data and insight to identify those customers that may need a higher level of support and reducing the over reliance on customers to report issues.

4.5 Our commitment under this approach is to :

· Respond to every report of condensation, damp or mould with a specialist survey that will identify the root cause of the issue.

· Undertake any works required to treat the root cause.

· Monitor that the actions taken have been successful.

· Undertake a proactive and risk based approach to identifying properties at risk of condensation, damp and mould.

· check with neighbouring homes of the same archetype where we have instances of condensation, damp and mould to ensure that any issues are identified as soon as possible.

· Undertake stock condition surveys of all properties at least once every five years. These surveys may also identify early signs of condensation, damp and mould. Root cause analysis and remedial works will subsequently be completed.

· Constantly review the products and specifications of products and materials used for repairs, planned maintenance and empty homes to ensure that they contribute to a healthy home and environment for our customers.

· Take reasonable steps to gain access in the instances where we are unable to gain access to ensure our homes are safe.

· Provide appropriate training for colleagues so they are able to report any instances of condensation, damp and mould.

· Provide appropriate training for colleagues to ensure identification, root cause and remedial works are sufficient to tackle condensation, damp and mould.

· Consider whether temporary accommodation is appropriate and communicate and support customers to move into temporary accommodation whilst specialist surveys and remedial works are completed.

· Initiate legal proceedings, after trying to gain access to homes and to temporarily accommodate customers when they do not wish to move to prevent continued exposure to damp and mould

5. Policy statement on tackling of damp and mould 

5.1 If customers have damp and mould issues these should be reported to the One Manchester. There could be a number of reasons for condensation, damp and mould and OM will identify and resolve the problem by taking a number of steps:

· The OM Healthy Homes Team will carry out an inspection to identify the cause of condensation, damp and mould, OM may also appoint a specialist damp surveyor to carry out a full damp survey and provide a damp report. These inspections will be carried out to determine the root cause with a view to addressing this. The inspection shall be undertaken within one week of the initial report. The findings of these reports will be shared with the customer.

· We will carry out any repairs, remedial works or improvements to tackle the root cause of damp problems identified following an inspection. We may also install specialist monitoring sensors within the property to monitor the levels of moisture.

· We will undertake follow-up surveys as appropriate to ensure the remedial work has been effective.

6. Responsibilities

6.1 The Executive Leadership Team are responsible for ensuring that there appropriate resources are available to deliver the requirements of the condensation, damp and mould policy.

6.2 The Senior Leadership Team are responsible for monitoring the overall performance of the effectiveness and outcomes from this policy to reduce and mitigate instances of condensation, damp and mould.

6.3 The Director of Homes is responsible for ensuring procedures are developed to effectively deliver the policy.

6.4 Every employee has a duty to ensure that any concerns related to condensation, damp and mould are raised and reported.

6.5 The Healthy Homes Manager is responsible for ensuring the Healthy Homes Team follow the procedures developed and all managers throughout the business are required to input and report as required and detailed through the developed procedures.