Agenda item

Damp & Mould Compliance

Report of the Strategic Director of Housing, Environment and Healthy Communities


The Committee received a report providing an overview of the Council’s approach towards ensuring that homes in Gateshead are compliant with statutory and regulatory requirements relating to damp and mould.


It was reported that following the Housing Ombudsman’s Spotlight Report on Damp and Mould, a review of Gateshead Council’s response to reports of damp and mould was undertaken to ensure compliance with guidance highlighted in the report. The Committee were also provided with an overview of the extent of damp and mould hazards identified in the Council’s housing stock.

The Committee were advised that when a customer contacts repairs to report damp mould or condensation, Construction Services raise an emergency order to wash down the mould and eliminate or reduce the risk to the customer. It was further explained that this would be done within 3 working days. It was also explained that simple repairs will be raised on a 20-working day priority order. The Committee also noted that for those properties where it is difficult to diagnose, or appears to be more complex, a Building Technician/ Building Surveyor will attend depending on the severity.

It was explained to the Committee that all planned works orders are placed on a 40 working day priority order and that the Council will commission from time to time a specialist damp contractor to provide further reports and facilitate required works.

An update on damp, mould and condensation reporting was also provided from the report. It was noted that current repair systems and its collation of damp mould or condensation data will be used to produce a live report within Power BI software. It was noted that this will enable borough wide accurate and current reports adding an additional layer to identifying trends as they occur. The Committee were also advised that the Council has reviewed its online literature and guidance around damp, mould and condensation and that training workshops for customers are to be introduced.

The Committee requested a further deep dive on the extend of damp, mould and condensation within the Council’s housing stock in addition to data on tenant wait times for their issues to be resolved. The Committee expressed concern that some Council practises had been used to gas-light tenants into having them take the blame for their damp, mould and condensation issues. The Committee noted that it understood that some lifestyle choices had contributed to damp in homes in some cases but that a lot of cases are a consequence of poorly built and insulated properties. Officers provided assurances that processes are robust and fair for tenants, it was also explained that properties with sloping roofs were particularly vulnerable to damp, mould and condensation. The Committee also requested a seminar on damp and mould.

It was explained to the Committee that the Council conducts stock condition surveys which are compared to the ‘decent homes’ standard. It was noted that this informs services where investment is needed in the Council’s stock and that investment is made only when a property has a long term, viable future as a suitable home to let.


(i)            The Committee considered and noted the report.





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