Complaints about mould and damp in Barnsley’s council houses triple

The number of complaints about mould and damp in Berneslai Homes properties has more than tripled in the last year.
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The number of complaints about damp and mould rose from 21 in 2022 to 97 in 2023 – a rise of 361 per cent, according to a freedom of information request by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

It also shows that Berneslai Homes spent 28 per cent more on repairing damp and mould issues from 2022 to last year.

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In 2023, Berneslai Homes, which manages 18,500 homes on behalf of Barnsley Council, employed “a damp and mould specialist” to ensure high-priority jobs were completed within 24 hours.

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The company had also carried out urgent inspections of 156 homes where the gas has been capped off, amid concerns lack of heating might be “detrimental” to the properties and health of tenants, it added.

Berneslai Homes also launched a task force “to oversee and monitor the approach and actions in relation to damp and mould”.

Barnsley Council undertook an “immediate inspection regime” after the death of Rochdale toddler Awaab Ishak.

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The two-year-old died from a respiratory condition caused by exposure to black mould in his flat in the town in Greater Manchester in December 2020.

A new law has been proposed – named Awaab’s Law – which will set new requirements on social landlords, including timescales for repairs, to ensure they are taking swift action to address dangerous hazards such as damp and mould.

Berneslai Homes did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.