What Happened At Our Public Meeting on Damp

Cllr Kay, Lambeth’s Cabinet member for Housing said the Council was using its powers to hold housing associations to account.

Attendees

  • Ludovic Basse – NHG (20% of estate)
  • Emily Thomson – NHG
  • Manjit Bhogal – NHG
  • Walid Saeed – NHG
  • Hardeep Majhail – Optivo (40% of estate)
  • Wayne Davis – Optivo
  • Mike Parrett – Optivo
  • Jules Bickers – MTVH (40% of estate)
  • Michelle Cassey – MTVH
  • Cllr Maria Kay
  • Cllr Mary Atkins
  • Olga Fitzroy – Labour candidate for St Martins
  • Charlotte Ward – Council officer
  • 35 residents

Introductions

Cllr Kay, Lambeth’s Cabinet member for Housing said the Council was using its powers to hold housing assoc.s to account.

Charlotte Ward, Lambeth’s environmental health officer, said the council had enforcement powers over the private sector and regularly meets with the 3 housing assoc.s. The council will do post-inspection work in collaboration with the HAs, and may pick properties through the TRA. We want long-term fixes, and that everyone should be on the same page.

Jules Bickers said MTVH was engaged in a program of work, which can be posted on web-site. Everything should be post-inspected by end of March.

Staff from NHHG introduced themselves and said they had prepared slides but had been told there was not enough time to show them

Wayne Davies introduced himself from Optivo

Mike Parrett, independent consultant used by MTVH said he had inspected in excess of 120 dwellings on St Martins and had prepared reports.

Damp stories of residents:

A resident from Taylor House(MTVH): Surveyor had drilled holes in walls, and she had heard nothing since.

Mike Parrett said he was waiting on the report. Why holes? The first question was whether damp was caused by building deficiency or usage. So a core sample is taken, followed by a chemical analysis to see if damp all the way through, and whether the damp is coming from outside or inside.

JB said once he had received the report and MTVH knows what needs to be done he will get back to resident.

A resident from Hart House (Optivo) said there had been damp and leaking since moving into the flat, and all his property damaged, and now he is being asked to vacate.

Hardeep Majhail of Optivo said the owner was a leaseholder, and so the resident was a private tenant. A surveyor will attend the next day.

An owner of a flat in Gwynne House (MTVH) which she rented out. She was upset at having to rent out a damp property, and concerned at the costs of putting damp right. Who would pay excess on insurance?

JB said that if MTVH had caused problem, eg. defective roof, then that was landlord’s responsibility, but would ask leaseholder to claim on insurance. He would look into whether could help with excess on insurance.

A resident of Godolphin House complained of constant change of staff (this was a general complaint against NHG,) Tenants in block had had damp sorted.

They said it will take 2-3 months to repair the lift it has been 4 days now nearly going to a week, no one has come back with solution, no update nor a letter to inform us about the lent and type or major work to be conducted for the lift.

_ my mobility,  live in  the 4th floor with toddlers, trapped in the house and children could not attend school, home delivery not possible to bring it up to the 4th floor and the same time no interphone working from the past 3 weeks apparently will be arranged by end of February.

– Damp and mould issue not resolved for years promises after promises after even last survey nothing done but other council tenants work damp issued was done with insulation in their home.

_ housing officer/ staff not committed and keep on changes without notice and left unfinished work behind and the new comer won’t take responsibility.

NHG accepted there was mould, but moisture derived from within and she was a leaseholder. Resident had mobility issues Lift in the block is being renewed which will take 4 weeks to complete. The lift will be out of service during this time. NHG will visit following week to discuss options.

A committee member said the HA s were being re-active, and, in effect, had relied on the TRA to report issues. People were fed up reporting the same issues. Should the HAs not be checking?

JB said MTVH was being both reactive and planned. There was a plan for investment, and had written to everyone on the estate twice.

MP said 127 properties had been surveyed, which was a considerable audit, technically a very big handle.

A resident of Abbots Park (MTVH): Moved in last year, Woke up in bed to find soaked in water from ceiling. Had happened twice, but no-one came from MTVH. JB said she was a private tenant which explained the lack of communication. The issue was a balcony which had now been repaired.

A resident of Roycroft Close (Optivo) Waiting on work to be done, but when?

WD said he would check on this.

A resident of Godolphin House (NHG): Leaks from flat above twice a year, no light in bathroom for 3 months, part of kitchen unusable, no visits from NHG last 5 years. Regular anti-social behaviour, with car scratched. “Its so unfair”

NHG said would contact her. NHG had identified mould in flat, had provided dry lining and extractor fans. Bathroom light was fixed in Sept. Would post-inspect next week

Cllr Mary Atkins- This was atrocious, Action had been promised in August, and she gets fobbed off. Emily confirmed that has let Alice down

A resident of Harbin House (NHG): 4 surveys with NHG, insurance claims, but nothing happens. Complaints system will not allow him to log on. Poor “Service”, complete admin failure. “Its awful” . ET from NHG said it was not good enough.

A resident of Abbots Park: Damp caused by balcony and guttering not cleaned out for 15 years.

JB said guttering was in cyclical program.

Further examples in chat, see end of minutes. No time to reach them, but is being sent to Lambeth and HAs

Concluding Remarks

Cllr Kay said she had grown up with damp. Residents deserve a service which they are paying for. Residents should be given a timetable for works to be done. Holes being drilled but resident not being told why or the timescale, was an example of poor communication. She thanked the local councillors, and expected there would be action. She would have a separate meeting with NHG to establish a dialogue.

Cllr Atkins She has been working with the TRA on damp for years. She was disappointed communication was still so poor. People cannot be fobbed off. She will be writing to NHG CEO.

JB said MTVH was taking the work and communications very seriously.

Emily Thomson accepted NHHG had let people down on communications. NHHG was considering estate surgeries, and next month there would be estate inspections.

WD said Optivo were here to serve and HM said would provide update on 2 residents. There was a need to look at long-term issues , to provide a consistent estate-wide service.

MP said his sample of dwellings so large the findings could be shared with all HAs. He had provide MTVH with a complete list of issues. Substantial number of damp problems related to repair , and there was room for education.

Saleha Jaffer, resident, said we should value all residents as human beings.

Meeting closed at 8.10

Edited Chat

[residents from] abbots park, Jonathan came drilled holes and found damp most likely coming from above balcony. Some small works were done but the damp has got worse over the weeks. I have tried to get in touch with MTVH and and I’ve been fobbed off and also told the holes were my responsibility. Can you please give us a point of contact preferably someone who has knowledge of this issue as one person responsed to me telling me this looked like condensation, that is my fault and if I had had a survey done I should send him the report. The report I had referred to was the one that Jonathan had done.

From Taylor House resident

@ Jules, I am in a similar position as [Gwyn House resident]. The damp is from outside my flat and I’ve been running in circles with MTVH contact centre/insurance. Please look into my case too and I’m happy to discuss further.

From Gaywood Close resident

Metropolitan painted my bathroom and changed the fan but the damp is started to come back

The jibe was done last year around September

From Gaywood Close resident

This is first time I joined such a great discussion on St Martin’s residence, I thank all of you specially Chris who invited me personally. Thank you very much-needed

From committee member

I can mention the example of a lady in Kynaston house.


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