Complaints about damp and mould in houses rising in city

More complaints about damp and mould have been made so far this year than the whole of 2020.

Complaints about damp and mould in houses rising in Glasgow STV News

More complaints about damp and mould in Glasgow houses have been made so far this year than the whole of 2020.

The number of condensation and dampness housing complaints made to the City Council up to August this year was 142.

In 2020, there were 141 condensation dampness complaints received and investigated by the local authority’s environmental health team.

The figure rose to 176 and 181 in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

The local authority has also seen a rise in the number of water penetration complaints received with 724, 762 and 882 concerns raised in 2020, 2021 and 2022 respectively.

There were 556 complaints of this nature recorded by August 2023.

A report was brought before members of the economy and housing committee on Tuesday afternoon following the death of Awaab Ishak in England in 2020 who died due to the condition of the property he was living in.

It highlighted a 25% increase in complaints received for condensation dampness in 2021 compared to 2020 which is likely to have resulted from the spillover from the pandemic when incidents were not being reported and inspections were not being carried out.

A pilot project is currently being developed as part of the council’s digital housing strategy and will work in partnership with registered social landlords (RSLs) to install smart home technology to help combat dampness within their housing stock.

Property environment sensors have been installed in a number of RSL homes to monitor the levels of humidity and temperature in the property which can be used to determine the likely risk of dampness within a dwelling.

This technology will trigger an alert when thresholds are breached to prevent the situation from worsening.

Green councillor, Bailie Anthony Carol, said he was concerned about the numbers of complaints made to the council increasing and asked how the new smart technology would help monitor conditions.

He said: “There was naturally concern about the numbers increasing as they have in terms of aspects of complaints.

“I was wondering what the outcomes of these complaints are? I have had constituents getting in touch – they have had complaints before but there was little action taken and the landlord was threatening us with defamation for bringing it up in the first place.

“You also mention pilot projects with new smart technologies in helping to monitor better conditions as well. Do you see this as something we can expand upon not just for current housing stock but new housing stock such as new builds to make sure we can monitor this progress in the future?”

Bailie Carol was advised that each situation was assessed and the council engages with the owners of a property to ensure effective repairs can be carried out.

A council officer said: “In a case in the private sector, our officers will go out and inspect and if the problem is significant, we would deem to take action, we do have the powers to close the property and rehouse the tenants.

“We can give advice to the tenants to report their landlord to the housing property chamber.”

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