Venue: Committee Room, Council Offices, Urban Road, Kirkby-in-Ashfield
Contact: Lynn Cain Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary or Personal Interests and/or Non-Registrable Interests
No declarations of interest were made.
that the minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 20 July 2023, be received and approved as a correct record.
The Scrutiny Research Officer presented the report and reminded Members that at the last meeting they had been presented with introductory information regarding the Damp and Mould topic, which had included details of Awaab’s Law, Regulator requirements regarding the handling of damp/mould and the Council’s procedures for treating damp/mould within its housing stock.
The Council’s Assistant Director for Operations had been in attendance at the last meeting and had explained the following to Committee:
· current procedures for reporting damp/mould issues to the Council
· the increase in cases reported due to media focus and awareness
· different types of mould and how/why they flourish
· the impact of the current Cost of Living Crisis and the resultant damp/mould issues arising in Council properties due to tenants struggling to heat their homes adequately
· the age of the housing stock equating to more substantial and recurring damp/mould issues
· the Council’s current responsibilities to their tenants
· development of the draft Damp and Mould Policy and recent consultation with local Tenant Gateways and stakeholders
· the work being undertaken to raise tenant awareness of preventative measures that can reduce the effects of damp/mould.
For the next stage of the review, Members were being asked to consider the content of the Council’s developing draft Damp and Mould Policy and the Tenant’s Guide to Condensation, Damp, and Mould as appended to the report.
Stacy White, the Council’s Team Manager for Environmental Health (Residential), had also kindly agreed to attend the meeting and give Members some understanding of the Council’s residential private sector enforcement procedures and resources relating to damp and mould issues.
Since the increased media focus regarding the health implications of living in properties with damp/mould issues, the Council had received a big influx of complaints from worried tenants. However, the Council had been able to manage the increase thus far and had offered advice and guidance to all tenants (both private and social) and also to private landlords who have a duty to investigate every complaint they receive in a timely manner.
The Private Sector Enforcement Team were required to continually submit data to the Secretary of State in relation to their responses to damp/mould complaints, and to ensure that all private sector complaints were dealt with robustly with enforcement action taken against private landlords where needed.
During the last 12 months the Council has undertaken a review of its procedures regarding the treatment of damp and mould within its Council housing stock and had developed a draft Damp and Mould Policy to support their findings. The draft Policy included the Council’s aims and objectives for providing and maintaining dry, warm, healthy homes for its tenants whilst complying with all statutory and regulatory requirements and sector best practice.
From a private sector perspective, the Private Sector Enforcement Team were committed to promoting and offering guidance and good practice to landlords within the sector; their remit was not just to enforce wrongdoings but to also provide a supportive service to landlords to ensure good quality, privately rented properties remained ... view the full minutes text for item IF.6