Dealing with Damp and Mould policy

This Policy has been developed to sit alongside and complement our Responsive Repairs and Voids Policies. 

We want to do everything we reasonably can to make sure our residents stay safe, healthy and well in their homes. Damp and mould are issues which can have a serious impact on the health and well-being of our residents, and cause damage to homes. 

This policy sets out our approach to dealing with damp and mould in our homes and communal areas. It covers the services we provide to customers who rent their home under a tenancy agreement and those who occupy under a licence. 

Our policy is that we will:  

  • Provide dry, safe homes for our residents which are free from any hazards
  • Comply with legislative, regulatory and contractual (including tenancy and lease) obligations
  • Treat residents reporting damp and mould with empathy and respect; we will not prejudge the cause of the damp
  • Take responsibility for diagnosing and resolving damp and mould in a timely and effective way where the problem is a result from issues that require repair 
  • Support residents on resolving damp and mould where they result from the use of the home, and  provide our residents with appropriate, clear, sensitive, practical and accessible advice  
  • Communicate with our residents clearly and regularly regarding any actions we plan to take and any  actions our residents are advised to take concerning damp
  • Ensure staff are trained to enable them to spot potential causes of damp, mould and condensation so they can advise residents, diagnose problems and provide solutions 

When applying this policy, make reasonable adjustments for people who have a disability and will take into account the provisions of the Equality Act 2010.  

Our staff and contractors will work together with our residents to deliver this policy. 

The policy supports the delivery of the following strategic objectives: 

  • To be a customer service organisation 
  • To provide high quality and safe homes 
  • To meet our legal and regulatory requirements. 

Mould is a type of fungus. It spreads through spores, which are invisible to the naked eye but are in the air around us all of the time and can quickly grow on surfaces where dampness persists or water has formed, into a visible covering.  

Dampness is an excess of moisture that can’t escape from a structure, which can also go on to cause significant damage to the building such as collapsed ceilings and rotten timber elements,  such as windows and doors. 

Four main causes of dampness in homes in England. 

Water leaks from defective supply and waste pipework (especially in bathrooms and kitchens) can affect both external and internal walls and ceilings. The affected area looks and feels damp to the touch and stays damp regardless of the prevailing weather conditions. It is the result of a problem  or fault with the home, which requires repair. Who is responsible for the repair depends on where and why the leak happens.  

Rising damp is caused by water rising from the ground into the home. Water gets through or around a defective damp proof course (DPC) or passes through the masonry that was built without a DPC. Rising damp will only affect basements and ground floor rooms; it will be present all year round but can be more noticeable in winter. It is extremely uncommon but is generally the result of a problem or fault with the home, which requires repair. This will usually be the landlord's responsibility. 

Penetrating damp appears because of a defect in the structure of the home, such as damaged brickwork, missing roof tiles, loose flashing or leaking rainwater goods. These defects allow water to pass from the outside to the floors, walls or ceilings. Penetrating damp is far more noticeable  following a period of rainfall and will normally appear as a well-defined 'damp-patch' which looks and feels damp to the touch. It is the result of a problem or fault with the home, which requires a repair. Who is responsible for the repair depends on what the fault is and where it happens. 

Condensation is the most prevalent type of dampness and is caused by moisture in the air (water vapour) inside the dwelling coming into contact with a colder surface, such as a window or wall.  The drop in temperature causes liquid water to form on the surface and then soak in. It is usually  found in kitchens, bathrooms, the corners of rooms, on north facing walls and on or near windows – all places that either tend to have a lot of moisture in the air, or to be cold generally. It is also found in areas of low air circulation such as behind wardrobes and beds, especially when they are  pushed up against external walls. 

Residents are required to report any problems to us as soon as possible after noticing a problem.  When we receive a report, a representative from our maintenance team or our repair contractor will attend the property to investigate causes of damp and mould conditions for consideration on appropriate remedial actions to take. In some cases, they may need to further diagnose the problem to determine whether it is due to a repair issue for which we are responsible. Sometimes finding out what’s causing damp and mould isn’t always straightforward and could be due to a combination of factors. Any repairs that are required to be carried out will be dealt with in accordance with our Responsive Repairs Policy. 

Where damp is as a result of condensation, we will work with our residents to take appropriate measures to prevent the damp and mould occurring. This might include advice about how to control moisture levels or increase ventilation or heating, so that damp levels are kept low. Where we provide such advice, it is important that residents adhere to it and do not take actions that could accentuate any problems e.g. by turning off ventilation systems or sealing over air vents. 

We know that some residents struggle to afford to heat their homes adequately so we will work with them to ensure they are guided to all the help and support available from various funding initiatives including those offered by the financial inclusion team.

Staff training 

We will ensure that our maintenance and repairs staff (whether in house or our contractors) will have the required skills to diagnose and remedy damp and mould. 

Responding to complaints and learning lessons 

We aim to resolve complaints as quickly as possible without residents needing to resort to disrepair claims and legal action. Where legal action is taken, we will follow the Pre-Action Protocol for Housing  Condition Claims so that we may resolve the dispute outside of court to help ensure issues are resolved quicker for customers. 

Please see full policy online 

Last Modified: 19/06/2023 11:38:55