RMBC’s new policy on mould spells out tenants’ rights if landlords fail to act

Rotherham Borough Council's Riverside House.Rotherham Borough Council's Riverside House.
Rotherham Borough Council's Riverside House.
A POLICY setting out how landlords should deal with damp, mould and condensation is set for approval by senior councillors.

The issue can be a serious health hazard, causing respiratory problems and increasing allergies.

Coverage of the inquest of Rochdale toddler Awaab Ishak, who died from a condition caused by sub-standard housing in 2020, led to an increase in concerns being raised with Rotherham Council.

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RMBC says training has been put in place to ensure staff and contractors recognise the root causes of damp and mould, instead of putting all the responsibility on tenants.

The new policy set to be approved at Monday’s cabinet meeting outlines the role of the council and private landlords in dealing with mould and damp in rented properties.

It will also set out what rights tenants have if their landlord does not fulfil their role.

Council deputy leader Cllr Sarah Allen said: “Damp, mould and condensation is something everyone comes across in their homes at some point.

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“While most of the time mould is harmless, left unchecked it can become a real health issue especially for our more vulnerable members in the community.

“We are introducing the new policy so that it can make a real difference to tenants’ lives as it will empower them to identify, treat and prevent damp, mould and condensation in their homes as well as ensuring their landlords give the right support.”

Council tenant Jo Workman, who has lived at her Bramley home for 17 years, said: “About six months ago, I went into my daughter’s room and I pulled something away from the wall and it was just black.

“I called the housing officer at the council and he came to look at it right away. He said that mould was ingrained in the wallpaper and we needed to strip out the bedroom.

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“Both the technical officer, Mark, and the contractors have been absolutely amazing. It’s great that landlords are taking issues like this much more seriously now.

“Mark even told me about something I could buy to help with smaller bits of mould which we never had before.”