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Regulator of Social Housing sets out key damp and mould findings for social landlords

The regulator of social housing (RSH) has published a report setting out how social landlords are approaching the tackling of damp and mould in their tenants’ homes.

The report highlights the features of the strongest and weakest approaches, so that landlords can learn lessons from others in the sector.

The findings are drawn from responses that RSH requested from landlords following the coroner’s report into the tragic death of Awaab Ishak in Rochdale. The regulator expects all social landlords to read the report and use it to inform their approach. The key findings are:

–          Better performing landlords manage their data well. They have accurate and up-to-date information about tenants’ homes, and they use it to find and resolve problems proactively.

–          Strong oversight from boards or councillors is essential. They should gain assurance that landlord management teams are responding effectively when tenants raise concerns.

–          Some boards and councillors had limited oversight of the condition of tenants’ homes, and in some cases they didn’t have specific processes for identifying and tackling damp and mould.

The responses show that most social landlords deal with damp and mould effectively, and most tenants live in homes that are largely free from damp and mould. A small number of landlords gave weaker responses and the regulator has followed up to scrutinise their approach.

The regulator is gearing up for stronger consumer regulation, which will include regular inspections of all larger social landlords from April 2024. This stronger approach is being introduced via the Social Housing Regulation Bill, which has nearly finished its journey through Parliament.

Fiona MacGregor, chief executive of RSH, said: “Tenants deserve to live in homes that are safe, of a decent standard, and free from serious hazards including damp and mould. We expect all landlords to read our report carefully, and ask themselves challenging questions about how they could improve their approach.”

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