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The Housing Ombudsman and the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) have both published reports on damp and mould.

The Housing Ombudsman has provided an analysis of responses from landlords one year on from its Spotlight report on the subject.  The responses show that 35% of landlords who responded now have a specific damp and mould policy with streamlined processes for identifying and responding to damp and mould reports, whilst a further 12% are in the process of implementing one.

The Ombudsman remains concerned about the language which some landlords use, saying “Some landlords had removed words such as ‘lifestyle’ from their policies but replaced them with euphemisms such as ‘internal environmental factors’”.

Housing Ombudsman Richard Blakeway said “It is disappointing when we conducted our review how few landlords had acted to implement a dedicated damp and mould policy, despite there being a clear and driving need to have a bespoke response … given the shortcomings identified in our casework”.

The RSH has published its initial findings on damp and mould in social housing which show:

  • Most social landlords understand the extent of damp and mould in their tenants’ homes and take action to tackle it, but could strengthen their approach
  • The vast majority of people living in social housing have homes that are free from damp and mould, with the RSH’s best estimate being that less than 0.2% of social homes have the most serious damp and mould problems, 1-2% have serious damp and mould problems, and a further 3-4% have notable damp and mould and
  • Some landlords submitted poor quality responses that lacked the detail needed for the RSH to have confidence about their approach to tackling damp and mould.

The RSH will follow up directly with landlords who submitted poor quality responses and those reporting high numbers of cases of damp and mould, and will take regulatory action where needed.