Scotland’s housing regulator has this week reiterated advice to all providers of social housing, insisting that they have in place ‘proactive systems’ to identify and deal with mould and damp in tenant housing.
A letter from director of regulation Helen Shaw was updated on Wednesday (18 January), emphasising the connection between a child’s tragic death from a respiratory condition and mould and damp in houses.
That came on the same day that Scottish Labour MSP Foysol Choudhury proposed a motion on damp housing in the Scottish Parliament.
In the motion, which has achieved cross-party support, Mr Choudhury said that there is a need for urgent action, recognising that mould and damp in homes can be dangerous and cause health problems.
The Scottish Regulator’s letter was initially sent out in December, shortly before Hebridean Housing Partnership (HHP) pledged to address reported problems with heating, insulation, condensation and mould in properties in Point.
You can read our earlier reports on this topic here https://www.welovestornoway.com/index.php/articles-auto-3/26922-hhp-pledge-on-homes-heating-snags and here https://www.welovestornoway.com/index.php/articles-auto-3/26881-point-tenants-fury-at-homes-snags
In their letter to landlords at https://www.housingregulator.gov.scot/for-landlords/advisory-guidance/recommended-practice/letter-to-landlords-advice-on-tenant-safety-damp-and-mould the Scottish Housing Regulator said: “Ensuring tenant and resident safety is a critical part of the work of social landlords in Scotland.
“The Scottish housing quality standard was developed by the Scottish Government and requires that the homes provided by social landlords meet tolerable standards, are free from serious disrepair, are energy efficient, have modern facilities and services and are healthy, safe and secure.”
The regulator continues: “I am writing to ask all governing bodies and committees to consider the systems they have in place to ensure their tenants’ homes are not affected by mould and dampness and that they have appropriate, proactive systems to identify and deal with any reported cases of mould and damp timeously and effectively.
“The current cost of living crisis, and in particular rising energy costs, will mean that many tenants face difficulties in heating their homes. So it is now more important than ever that all social landlords have robust procedures for managing reports and instances of mould and dampness.
“If you identify any concerns with your current systems please contact your lead regulator to discuss how you will plan to make necessary improvements.”
Local authorities in Scotland are responding to growing concern about issues of damp and inefficient heating systems, with Dundee City Council announcing a review into the issue and Renfrewshire councillors to get briefings on how the problem is being tackled.