Focus on damp and mould
Over the last couple of years we've spoken with hundreds of customers to see how we can treat reports of damp and mould better.
We take reports of damp and mould seriously and it’s really important to us that we deal with them quickly and properly
We asked customers what matters to them when it comes to damp and mould and they told us that they want to feel listened to. That’s critical for us. We employ expert colleagues and partners who use their experience as well as new technology to diagnose and treat damp and mould in customers’ homes.
Based on customer feedback, we’ve also recently improved things like how we treat the root cause of damp and mould, and making it easier to report. We’ve also worked on giving unique advice for each customer, and using the language that works for customers when we’re talking about it.
We don’t tolerate damp and mould, and encourage customers to report it. We’re here to help.
Your feedback and changes we've made
What you tell us really makes a difference. It helps us change the way we do things so we're delivering services that work for you.
“Don’t be judgemental or jump to conclusions.”
Blaming our customers is not acceptable; no one chooses to live with damp or mould. It’s now written into our policies to make that absolutely clear.
”Don’t make me report it online.”
You choose how you want to report the issue. In person, by telephone or online if that’s your preference.
“Stop asking me so many questions when I report damp and mould.”
We understand that you want to report it and move on with your day. But by answering our questions you’re helping us assess the issue. And that means we can act quicker.
“Tell us about damp and mould but don’t make assumptions or patronise us.”
We asked our customers to help us with the language we use. And you’ll see this in our leaflets, on our website and how our colleagues talk to our customers.
“Make advice unique to each customer.”
Every situation differs. Our surveyors offer a menu of options that take your situation into account. We then guide you through them so you understand the pros and cons of each.
“Make sure the customer service team know what standards are expected.”
Customers go through to a dedicated damp and mould team who use their specialist training to assess their report. They know their stuff and will guide you through the process seamlessly.
“Make sure you know if someone is especially vulnerable.”
It’s important we assess our customers’ situation so we can prioritise the most urgent cases. Colleagues ask each customer a series of questions to identify the severity of the issue and if there are any vulnerable people in the home. This helps us work out who needs to be prioritised.
“You should take ownership and communicate better with other departments as well as the customer.”
All colleagues know that damp and mould issues are a priority and we work together to get it sorted for our customers.
You will never need to chase us to find out what’s going on. We make sure all appointments are managed by our team, and our records are accurate so we can keep the customer updated.
“Find the cause, don’t just blame it on condensation.”
If damp and mould is reported, we investigate it to find the cause. We won’t assume it’s condensation; surveyors will be using ‘protimeters’ to detect the source of the problem.
”12 weeks is too long to wait for it to be sorted.”
Damp and mould cases are prioritised by severity and customer circumstances. We are committed to dealing with reports within a set amount of time with priority cases responded to first.
“Do a good job when you’re fixing the issue.”
Our team are proud of the work they do and we check work is carried out to our standards.
They not only fix the issue but are proactive in spotting other potential problems and getting them reported. They’re committed to fixing the current problem and preventing future ones.
“Blocked guttering can cause damp and mould problems.”
We’re all on the look-out for this problem. That’s not just our repairs team; it’s any colleague, any visit. Damp and mould is everyone’s priority.
“If the problem comes back you should check again for the cause before rewashing it.”
The job isn’t finished until the damp has gone for good. Repairs are followed up to see if further work is needed.
“Don’t just leave me to sort it out if I’ve got condensation not damp.”
If we find you have condensation rather than damp, we will help to sort it out with practical advice and/or by improving your ventilation.
Damp and mould in numbers
We take damp and mould seriously. We work with colleagues, customers and the Regulator of Social Housing to make sure we do the right thing. And we're committed to learning and improving our services along the way.
When a customer reports damp and mould we treat it as either an emergency or a routine repair. This depends on its severity and whether there are any vulnerabilities in the household. We aim to complete emergency repairs within 24 hours and a routine repair in 28 days.
The health and safety of our customers is our top priority and we have 203 customer reported damp and mould issues (1 August 2023).
As well as customers telling us about damp and mould, our surveyors also spot health and safety issues during home condition surveys. And if they spot any, they raise a repair to get it sorted.
We had a lot of home condition surveys to carry out after the disruption of Covid. Between March 2021 and May 2022 we conducted our largest ever survey, covering 26000 homes. Our partner, Savills, carried out 23000 of these surveys. Because the survey was much bigger than usual, and because Savills gave us their results in one go, it meant that it raised 3374 damp and mould issues and we had a higher number of cases than we would normally have (2207) when we reported to the Regulator of Social Housing in March 2023.
The vast majority of issues identified were categorised as slight risk, and we have since worked hard with customers to close these cases.
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