Date approved: September 2023
Review date: September 2025
Please be aware that this full policy may include acronyms or technical jargon used internally within Raven. If you have any questions, please contact us.
This policy sets out our approach to protecting residents and homes from damp, mould and condensation.
2. Policy Aims
2.1. We want to ensure that we offer our customers warm, safe and healthy homes to live in. We have identified that with the age of our stock portfolio there are properties that are susceptible to condensation and damp and that would benefit from a purposeful approach to the treatment and remediation of reported and identified damp and improvements in customer service and preventative technology and systems.
3.1. The policy applies to Raven Housing Trust employees, contractors and stakeholders to address issues arising to damp mould and condensation.
3.2. The policy requires all 3.1 parties to fulfil Raven values and furthermore support and educate our customers to support having a home to be proud.
3.3. The policy does not displace any tenancy agreement or lease held by customers.
3.4. The policy does not depreciate the joint responsibility of the customer to uphold the condition and required upkeep of their home, to support treatment and/or prevent damp, mould and condensation.
- Promote and provide advice and guidance to manage leaks, condensation, damp and mould.
- Provide easy ways to report an issue.
- Diagnose the cause of leaks, condensation, damp and mould and deliver effective solutions to address the root cause.
- Keep customers updated with the findings of the investigation, detailing the necessary remedial works and timescales to complete the work.
- Carry out remedial works to address the issues of leaks, damp, mould and condensation at the ‘void’ stage to ensure it is addressed for the new customer.
- Employ skilled contractors to work in support of our directly employed teams.
- Provide clear and easy access to complaints procedures that will be managed in line with the Complaints Code.
Customer responsibilities include:
- Managing conditions that could lead to condensation, damp and mould.
- Timely reporting of issues and faulty equipment that may hamper the management and control of condensation, damp and mould. For example, reporting a faulty extract fan, unable to open windows or lack of heating.
- Compliance with tenancy or leasehold obligations which include allowing Raven staff, and contractors access for inspections and works.
- Leaseholders and shared owners will manage and maintain their properties including issues with condensation, damp and mould in accordance with obligations in their lease agreement.
5. Prevention and Maintenance
For our customers, we provide accessible information on our website to raise awareness about the causes of damp and mould and advice on how it could be avoided. This includes advice on how to remove moisture from homes, keeping homes properly ventilated, and how to stop rooms from getting too cold.
We’re committed to ensuring that all our empty homes, prior to being let, are free from all forms of dampness. We check all ground floor walls for rising dampness with an electronic moisture meter. If there’s any condensation mould, this will be washed off and sterilised with an anti-fungicidal solution. We also check that our homes ventilation and heating are in good mechanical order and install loft insulation and cavity wall insulation if this is required.
We ensure, through our Major Works Investment Program, to deliver on our objective that every resident has a safe and has a decent home to live in. One of the focuses of this program will be to improve the energy efficiency of our homes and identifying homes that we can bring up to meet Energy Performance Certificate C status and Net Zero where possible.
6. Reporting and Resolution
We want customers who are noticing signs of damp or mould in their home to report it to us immediately, even if the problem is only small as we can offer practical advice. We want to ensure that it is easy to report these issues to us and this could be done by logging the issue on the customer portal or by calling us on: 0300 123 3399.
Following a report of Damp and Mould, we then establish if an immediate repair is required (leak, health and safety risk) and act in accordance with our Repairs policy.
Following the report an assessment of the property is agreed at a mutually convenient time within 21 working days to understand the scale of the problem. The
assessment will identify the underlying cause of the damp and mould within the property and provide the customer with guidance on managing mould within the property. Any remedial works identified will be recorded and raised to our internal or external contractors.
Multiple fixes may be required and therefore, we are clear with residents on timescales and keep them informed throughout. We always consider a range of
interventions to tackle and, where possible, eliminate damp and mould – this could include:
- Providing clear, sensitive, practical advice and guidance to customers on how they can resolve damp and mould in their homes.
- On a case-by-case basis give more tailored advice that is tailored for each customer and their home.
- Where appropriate, clean and shield treatments (can be known as mould washes).
- Possible adjustment of heating controls to help them perform better to prevent mould in the future.
- Possible installation of humidity and temperature sensors to remotely monitor temperature changes which enable us to proactively intervene if temperatures are too low or high and advise customers accordingly.
- Possible installation and/or upgrading of fans to improve ventilation.
- Undertaking repairs in accordance with our Repairs Policy.
- Where appropriate, regular monitoring of the situation with follow up calls and if required, additional visits.
We work with our customers to ensure ease of access and agree appointment times, and reasonable notice will be given. If we are denied access for no good reason, continually prevented from entry or we receive no response to our requests then we escalate actions to gain entry, which may include injunctive proceedings. We then refer any case to the relevant team when entry is denied on more than three occasions. They then take actions that are proportionate to the reason/s that we require entry.
We ensure we follow our Property Access policy and procedure should this occur.
Where we are dealing with any homes that have been reported damp and mould and they have been identified for future disposal or are part of a regeneration area, we continue to maintain and repair these until the time of disposal.
7. Resident Education and Communication
- Make information clear, consistent and accessible for customers on our website, social media, in Raven Times and via other channels about the causes of condensation, damp and mould. This information will be shared regularly and updated when required.
- Provide customers with advice on what is our responsibility and what is customers’ responsibility relating to damp, mould and condensation.
- Inform customers about how to prevent and manage mould and where mould is present, what we can do.
- Make information available in print format for those who need it – in Raven Times, leaflets and posters.
- Hold customer information drop in events at community centres in high housing stock areas throughout autumn to answer any customer questions and provide help and advice.
8. Legal Compliance
We ensure that we address damp and mould in accordance with relevant legislation and regulation:
- Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 section 11
- Housing Act 2004 – Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)
- Homes (Fit for Human Habitation) Act 2018
- Home Standard
- Tenant Involvement and Empowerment Standard
9. Complaints and Appeals
Any complaints relating to handling of a damp, mould and condensation issues, would be investigated in accordance to our complaints procedure and the Housing Ombudsman Complaints Code.
10. Staff Training
We are committed to ensuring all relevant front-line staff are trained and are aware and understand their roles and responsibilities in meeting the aims of this policy. We ensure our in house staff, contractors and consultants have the required skills to diagnose and remedy damp and mould. We regularly review the training we are providing and ensure it is up-to-date and meets all the latest standards and requirements.