Private tenants in Redbridge face mould and damp menace

More people are reporting severe damp and mould in their privately rented homes in Redbridge than almost anywhere else in England.

Last year, Redbridge Council received 3,590 requests for help from private tenants struggling with damp and mould.

According to campaign group Generation Rent, this is the second highest number of requests for help out of 115 councils in England, although several did not respond to the group.

Generation Rent’s director Alicia Kennedy said too many renters live in homes with “dangerous” levels of damp and mould, which can cause ill health and damage property.

She added: “Landlords, whether they are huge housing associations, or an individual letting out their former home, have one job: to provide their tenants with a safe home.

“Too many try to dodge their responsibilities by blaming tenants or serving a no-fault eviction notice.”

Despite the high number of complaints about private housing, Redbridge Council only issued nine improvement notices to landlords, significantly less than many councils with fewer damp and mould complaints.

However, the figures show that its housing officers carried out almost 900 inspections, the second highest out of all London councils.

Redbridge Council and its cabinet member for housing and homelessness Vanisha Solanki have not responded to requests for comment.

The council, which is a landlord for almost 4,500 tenants, carried out 947 repairs to damp and mould issues in its own properties between April 2021 and March 2022.

In response to a recent Freedom of Information request, the council claimed it is unable to estimate how many of its homes have damp, mould or disrepair issues.

The lack of figures showing the extent of issues in council-owned housing follows a public warning from the Regulator of Social Housing last year.

An investigation found there was “potential for serious detriment” to council tenants as it had failed to ensure safety checks had been carried out.

If you have a story about living with damp, mould, or disrepair contact: josh@socialspsider.com.

Further information for private tenants living with damp, mould or disrepair can be found on Redbridge Council’s website.

[https://www.redbridge.gov.uk/housing/private-rentals/private-tenant-information/#:~:text=If%20you%20are%20unable%20to,with%20their%20response%20(if%20any]

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Josh Mellor

Local Democracy Reporter