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Local authority survey shows complaint levels for condensation, mould and damp

30 November 2018

Complaints concerning condensation, mould and damp were recorded at a level of 12% in a survey of more than 300 local authorities in England and Wales.

Conducted using the Freedom of Information Act by specialist body CIT, the research looked at the number of properties managed by 326 local authorities and the number of complaints received about the three issues between January 2012 and May 2018.

An example of responses received showed that one local authority managing 474,923 homes had received more than 57,700 complaints, a complaint rate of over 12%.

After installing cavity wall insulation (CWI) into 70% of its properties and external wall insulation (EWI) into the rest of its housing stock, another local authority had received complaints relating to more than 80% of its properties, said CIT.

CWI is being installed by 16% of the local authorities included in the survey, while 5.6% are removing it, and 20% of respondents said they were installing EWI.

CIT director Rob McCormack said more consideration was needed over CWI and EWI.

"We know from our own investigations that CWI failure can lead to a number of moisture ingress-related problems," he said.

He gave the example of a local authority "facing a huge bill" due to water damage after it penetrated outer walls and transferred to the inner walls of properties using the CWI as a bridge.

"In all cases the key to addressing these problems is understanding the underlying cause and dealing with it correctly.," said Mr McCormack.

He further stated that the survey had asked now many disrepair claims had been made over the last five years as a result of CWI or EWI.

The fact that all respondents had stated there had been no disrepair claims for this was seen as a concern by Mr McCormack.

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