Council Motion: Action on Damp Properties

This is a recent Council Motion from Calderdale Lib Dems calling for stronger action from the Council to tackle damp and mould in homes – particularly in the rented sector. Some good press coverage of the motion can be found here.

If your council has responsibility for private housing enforcement, or as a landlord itself, this could be a good motion to move to make sure your council is tackling this issue as effectively as possible.

The motion from Calderdale Lib Dems is below:

Council notes;

a) That during the cost-of-living crisis many local families are keeping their central heating low which is exacerbating problems with damp

b) The tragic death of a two-year-old boy Awaab Ishak in Rochdale, and the subsequent Coroner’s report which ruled that living with prolonged exposure to toxic mould was a cause of his death

c) The casework issues ward councillors have experienced trying to get landlords, including social housing providers, to take swift action to tackle mould

d) The culture of blaming tenants for mould problems in properties and the lack of practical support many tenants face in tackling mould

e) With thanks, the work already carried out by officers on housing issues and the powers that the authority has to issue improvement notices to landlords of properties to tackle damp problems.

Council calls for;

The Cabinet, and Chairs of Scrutiny Boards to review the authority’s response to tackling damp, and in doing so consider aspects such as:

· The Council’s ability to resource its Environmental Health services in light of continued cuts to local government funding

· The information provided to tenants and landlords on the best approaches to preventing and tackling damp

· The response of social housing providers in preventing damp in their properties and investing in capital projects to improve the stock of social housing within the Borough

· The Council’s use of enforcement powers under the Housing Act 2004 to take action against Category 1 hazards including damp, mould and excessive cold.

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