Regulator of Social Housing damp and mould consultation response

The Regulator of Social Housing is seeking assurance from all Registered Providers on addressing risks relating to damp and mould in tenants' homes.

Folkestone & Hythe District Council has a good understanding of the condition of our 3,378 council owned and managed social housing portfolio. This includes the extent of damp and mould issues affecting our properties.

A full Stock Condition Survey was carried out and completed in December 2021, which included Housing health and safety rating system (HHSRS) assessments. This survey was carried out by an independent consultancy procured via a compliant framework - achieved 80% internal and 90% external surveys.

The report from the stock condition survey shows that 0.27% of the social housing portfolio properties in the district have category 1 mould hazards and there are no category 2 mould hazards. This equates to just 9 properties.

Our tenants' health, safety and wellbeing are of paramount importance to us, and compliance is a high priority across the housing service.

F&HDC has an excellent record on Decent Homes Standard compliance. Only 3.05% of our stock is failing, for various works, and all failures are currently part of our active improvement programme. Of the 9 properties that failed as CAT 1 - damp and mould - all are with relevant Neighbourhood Surveyors as part of their work programme. All attempts are being made to resolve these issues as quickly as possible, but access and non-engagement is a factor in some cases.

F&HDC regularly carry out inspections of reported damp and mould to our properties. We work to a check list to ensure nothing is missed and use damp meters to take readings of affected areas. We take any penetrating damp or leaks very seriously and look to resolve these as quickly as possible.

We offer our residents a comfort thermometer to assist in the reduction of condensation. This operates on a colour coded system showing green for ideal, red for too humid and blue for too cold. The housing team give advice on what is best to use to clean and manage mould growth, along with day-to-day advice regarding keeping lids on pans when cooking, avoid drying clothes on radiators, using extractors where fitted, opening windows for a short time to aid ventilation etc.

Follow up inspections are completed, 4 weeks minimum after the initial visit, to see if the property has improved, and address any other concerns. If the problem is more severe, or further issues have been identified, we will instruct a specialist contractor to carry out a more detailed report and then act on their recommendations.

Condensation and mould advice is posted on the website for tenants and residents and is included in our Tenant Newsletter.Tenancy support is in place to signpost vulnerable for assistance in helping to reduce condensation and mould.

Condensation guide (PDF, 338.31KB)