WE have to adopt a zero-tolerance approach to damp and mould.

This comes in the wake of a coroner ruling that a toddler died as result of a respiratory condition caused by exposure to mould in his home.

Two-year-old Awaab Ishak died in December 2020, despite his family repeatedly raising the mould issue with Rochdale Boroughwide Housing.

Also, in a recent report published by the Fraser of Allander Institute, damp and overcrowded housing was highlighted as stalling any improvements in living standards in Glasgow.

People experiencing difficulties in keeping a home adequately heated during cold periods were also found to have a direct link to poorer health.

When residents are living in homes with damp and mould, they are more likely to have respiratory problems, allergies, asthma, and other conditions that impact on their immune system.

In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, there are potential serious health consequences for residents.

Also, there are wider impacts on the mental health, education and career prospects of residents living with damp and mould.

Mould and damp are caused by excess moisture. Moisture in buildings can be caused by leaking pipes, rising damp in basements or ground floors, or rain seeping in because of damage to the roof or around window frames.

In a newly built home, damp may be caused when building it is still drying out.

If there is excess moisture indoors, it can also be caused by condensation.

If you have mould or damp it is important to find out why you have excess moisture in your home.

When you know what is causing the damp, you can make sure your home is repaired or take steps to limit the moisture in the air.

Tenants in private rented accommodation and tenants of housing associations can contact their landlord and also the council’s Environmental Health department.

There is advice and support services which may help

with getting rid of damp and mould.

New technology is being used to monitor temperature, humidity and CO2 levels in housing association properties as part of a pilot project run by Glasgow City Council.

Sensors can be installed to collect real-time data to enable tenants to identify problems and seek action from their landlords before the damp and mould cause health issues.

There is a guide for landlords about how to deal with damp and mould in a way which is proactive, understanding of tenants’ experiences, and effectively resolves the underlying cause.

This has been produced by Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations and the Scottish Housing Regulator.

This week, updated guidance on the Repairing Standard has been issued by the Scottish Government.

It incorporates all the new measures which private landlords are required to meet by March 1, 2024.

We are looking for landlords to be on the front foot by identifying properties requiring improvements.

Damp and mould are common problems which too many residents can experience when renting accommodation.

We have to support efforts to prevent the deterioration in the condition of properties, enabling landlords to take any remedial action early.