Issue - meetings

Issue - meetings


Meeting: 18/05/2023 - Partnerships Scrutiny Committee (Item 7)


To consider a report (copy attached) from the Lead Officer – Community Housing which details the extent of the Council’s role and responsibilities in relation to mould, condensation and disrepair matters in Registered Social Landlords and private rented sector properties in Denbighshire.


11.30am – 12.15pm

Additional documents:


The Head of Planning, Public Protection and Countryside Services gave a brief background on Mould and Condensation in Housing Association (RSL) Housing Stock and Private Rented Sector Properties. He began by explaining that it was very much team effort, working closely across many services.


The report was based on the management of mould and condensation in properties owned and managed by registered social landlords and in the private rented sector. The report followed on from a recent report regarding the same issue within Council housing stock.


There were two main aspects to the report as follows:

1.    To provide an update on the situation in the Private Rented Sector.

2.    To provide an update on the positive actions that had been taken by Registered Social Landlords to address and respond to the current situation.

It was explained that the RSLs were responsible to their own Boards and to Welsh Government in relation to the management of the standards of their own properties.


The Public Protection, Regeneration and Economic Development Manager (PPREDM) guided Members through the elements of the report relating to the private rented sector and the work that was ongoing via the Council’s Public Protection Team and Housing Enforcement Officers. The housing enforcement legislation was set out in the Housing Act 2004. Any enforcement that was taken, was enforced under the Housing, Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). The process set out in the guidelines allowed time for landlords to take action before any enforcement was taken.


Enforcement action figures over the last 4 years (previously circulated) had gradually reduced with the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard and the Renting Homes Wales Act potentially being contributing factors.


In conjunction with the commencement of the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 earlier in 2023, the Housing Enforcement Team had made a change to the complaint investigation process to ensure that the landlord was made aware of any complaint by their tenants, in order to give them the opportunity to address the disrepair issues before formally involving the Council’s Housing Enforcement Team. If after 21 days the problem still existed, or significant progress had not been made, then Housing Enforcement would arrange to carry out an inspection. The new process applied to all complaints received except for emergencies which were prioritised and inspected as soon as practicable.


The PPREDM continued to explain that in respect of RSLs very few complaints had been received. Where such complaints were received, Housing Enforcement would advise the tenant in the first instance to contact their housing provider so that their landlord had the opportunity to address their concerns directly. To date no cases with RSLs had required any further escalation or involvement.


The Strategic Planning and Housing Manager explained the second aspect of the report relating to the positive actions that had been taken by RSLs. Two out of the six local RSLs had provided the Council with a copy of their response to Welsh Government to reassure the Committee that, as responsible landlords they had responded to the issue. A brief summary of their response was given as follows: -


·       All reports of damp, mould and condensation were recorded, inspected and the case load monitored by a senior officer with reports to senior leadership teams and boards of management.

·       Clear processes were in place to manage all reports from households to ensure prompt action was taken.

·       The most at risk households and properties had been targeted for intervention and support.

·       All frontline staff had received training and awareness to be able to identify and report any issues with mould and condensation.

·       Partnerships to deliver advice to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7