More than one in seven properties let by social landlords in Herefordshire has a serious damp or mould problem.

This compares to fewer than one in ten in the private rental sector, according to figures from Herefordshire Council which it submitted following a request from the Government.

Housing secretary Michael Gove had ordered an investigation into the problem nationally following the death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak brought on by “extensive” mould in his family’s Rochdale flat.

Nearly one in three of the 82,800 households in Herefordshire are rented. Among these, 9.1 per cent of privately rented homes have a so-called “category 1” issue with damp or mould. But this jumps to 14.4 per cent among properties let by registered housing providers, the council’s submitted figures show.


Under the Government’s rating system, a category 1 hazard “poses an imminent risk to health”, while category 2 hazards “are serious but unlikely to cause direct harm in the near future”.

Local authorities are legally obliged take enforcement action to address category 1 hazards. Herefordshire Council did not respond when asked what its current level of enforcement was in this regard.

Connexus, one of the largest social landlords in the county, did not provide a figure for how many of its properties were so affected. But its spokesperson said retrofit work on its older, more damp-prone properties “is a particular priority”.

“We are also working with a specialist contractor to improve our response times,” they said, and encouraged tenants experiencing damp, mould, or condensation to report it.


Stonewater, another large housing provider in the county, said it reported zero category 1 cases in Herefordshire.

“All our homes meet the legally-binding ‘decent homes’ standard,” the company’s spokesperson said, adding: “There is clearly much more work to do across both the social and private rented sectors to address damp and mould issues.”

Stonewater says it too is making “significant investment” in retrofitting existing homes for better energy efficiency, insulation and ventilation, and is also installing humidity monitors and sensors in homes to identify problems before they arise.

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