Increase in Legal Cases Against Social Landlords For Mould Claims

Damp and Mould in Social Housing Properties

Increase in legal cases against social landlords for mould, It’s not always easy to prove who is responsible for resolving problems with damp and mould in social housing properties. This is because it can be difficult to find the exact cause of damp.

Tenants of housing associations could contact the local authority’s Environmental Health department. Or if the damp could be a risk to the tenant’s health and safety, therefore a hazard under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) and the Social landlord is found responsible for dealing with the damp and they don’t do it, tenants can then take them to court.

Housing Ombudsman urges zero-tolerance approach on damp and mould and has unveiled a report highlighting the worst performers regarding damp and mould in homes as part of a new ‘spotlight’ investigation on the issue, the report identifies best practices and makes 26 recommendations for landlords to implement, including:  

  • Greater use of intelligence and data to prevent issues 

Organisations of the affordable housing sector, who have a duty of care to tenants and the resulting physical and mental health problems that come from damp conditions associated with their property inventory, are ‘in the media spotlight’ across the news and with the number of mould claims also increasing.  Additional factors would be due to the tenants increased time spent at home during the covid-19 pandemic highlighting damp issues further.

Housing associations believe in most cases mould and damp can be prevented by educating the tenant on living conditions, the only way to do this is to identify the exact conditions under which condensation builds and the environment in which mould needs to thrive. Gathering a body of independently collated evidence leads to evidence-based actions, this exhibits a duty of care has been attended to, ultimately of course lead to an uplift in tenant well being.

Damp is a common problem, there are many contributing factors that can lead to damp conditions, typical factors could be:-

  • Lifestyle dynamics such as showering, cooking, high occupancy levels and drying washing indoors can all contribute to high levels of humidity within properties.
  • Poor ventilation or even no ventilation will contribute to moisture build-up within properties
  • Poorly insulated properties create cold surfaces which are prone to condensation build-up
  • Poorly heated properties are always at higher risk of damp and mould, vulenrable tenants may simply not be able to heat their homes
  • Rising damp, a form of damp that affects the walls of buildings, is when moisture travels up from the ground through the masonry.
  • Penetrating damp, or lateral damp which happens when water penetrates the fabric of a building from outside to inside, for example, because of a leaking downpipe. If left untreated it can cause problems to the structure of the home.
  • Construction damp, where the damp is caused by a problem in how the property was designed, faulty construction, or poor-quality materials.

The Key Value Elements To Leveraging The CDL Solution In Your Organisation Are:-

  • Evidence-based decision making
  • Independently collated data giving a stronger position in any legal claims (Not marking your own homework!)
  • Evidence to assist with educating tenants on lifestyle habits
  • Evidence to prove you have acted responsibly in terms of educating tenants with an aim to increasing their levels of well being
  • Identifying where there may be tenants who are at risk of fuel poverty

CDL Sensors can be installed in a property to capture key measurements, such as:

  • Temperature Monitoring
  • Humidity Monitoring
  • Dew Point Monitoring
  • Surface Temperature
  • Ventilation and airflow monitoring
  • Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
    • Including Co2 and VOC’s
  • Energy usage monitoring

Social Housing Frequently Asked Questions 

How Can CDL Help?

Caption Data Ltd has more than 13 Years of knowledge in terms of providing key operational, cloud-based IoT solutions. Our smart monitoring solutions provide insights via the CDLSmartHub web-based platform.

If you are looking to uplift and strengthen your legal position as a social housing organisation, then please get in touch to see how we can assist you.