Damp and mould update: November 2023
An overview of cases:
As winter approaches and the weather begins to get colder, we expect an increase in the amount of cases. However, our priority is to resolve issues in a reasonable timescale and to a good quality.
Current cases stand at approximately 548, down from 607 total cases when we reported in the June 2023 Key News. Some of these are more severe than others, and we determine this on red, amber and green (RAG) rating. Find out more about how this scale works in the Damp and Mould policy.
What you can expect when reporting:
When we receive a report of damp and mould we will use Hostcomms where possible (a video call service) to diagnose an issue. If needed, a mould wash will then be booked in.
If required, an in-person survey will be carried out within two weeks and sooner if at a red rating. Results from this survey will determine what repairs are needed. These will then be booked in, in line with timescales of the rating system.
The breakdown of current cases is 29% green, 59% amber and 12% red (as of 13/11/2023).
The majority of work to resolve green and amber cases is being met within the given 12-week timescale.
In red cases, we aim to carry out an urgent mould wash to remove the immediate risk within three working days and complete all work within four weeks. However, in most cases we are falling short of this.
We are working hard to bring these timescales down, whilst also taking all necessary actions to address the root cause of the problem, to make sure it’s treated effectively, and we prevent it reappearing in the future. Find out how on the work still to do section below.
Improvements made so far:
Overall, we are beginning to see timescales reduce, now with a new Contracts Manager overseeing workload and a clearer process we work to.
Recently we have been working very closely with multiple contractors including our ventilation and insulation suppliers to organise and prioritise jobs, to ensure timescales are reduced and performance is monitored closely.
We have a dedicated and fully qualified team within Customer Experience who can triage and advise tenants to a much higher and informed level.
Surveys have been brought in house and are being completed with a lower lead time, creating a more streamlined approach.
Information and communication has also been reviewed and updated to make sure key resources are available.
The use of technology including Hostcomms has helped with cutting down timescales and diagnosing issues at the first point of contact, and AICO monitors in some homes to monitor conditions and advise on prevention measures.
Work still to do:
- There is still work to be done on communication and how we keep customers informed. That’s why we’re working on a system to automate contact. This will include a general update to tell tenants where we’re at with their case and a follow up survey to ensure the problem has not reoccurred.
- We’re publishing more communication highlighting causes, and how tenants can get involved to help reduce condensation, along with creating tools, guides, and videos to give practical advice.
- Surveys will be sent out to gauge how tenants feel we’re doing when it comes to the reporting process and getting to the root cause of the problem.
- The policy and process implemented at the beginning of the year will be reviewed this month. Should any significant changes be proposed, customers will be invited to have their say.
- We’re conducting a self-assessment of the process, to ensure that we are doing what we said we would, and identifying where improvements can be made.
- Audits will be carried out by an external, independent auditor in the future, again to review how we’re performing.
- To be proactive we will begin using technology to map out clusters of properties that have structural damp or mould issues, so that we can monitor this.
- Our Contracts Manager will continue to have review meetings with all external organisations to ensure their quality and timescales meet our expectations.
- We are training more of our team on the use of Hostcomms so we can further roll this out when triaging reports.
- All colleagues are being reminded it is their duty to report damp and mould they find in properties, they will also be refreshed on the process to help manage tenants expectations.
For more information, or to report an issue:
To read information on different types of damp, mould and condensation, or for information on prevention measures go to: www.ongo.co.uk/damp.
You can also use this link to report damp and mould, or you can email us on email@example.com, or give us a call us on 01724 279900.