Leaseholders Affected by Damp need Survey Information

Since we started our damp campaign we’ve had some success getting fixes for tenants, but no luck getting fixes for leaseholders. We’re asking affected leaseholders to demand a copy of their block survey from Lambeth Council

The Leasehold Advisory Service said “To get the landlords to take action you need to show it is penetrative damp.  A surveyor can provide this information”. Our landlords have done a survey for the estate, many leaseholders gave them access to their properties to do it.

We know of no Optivo or NHG leaseholder who has managed to get a survey from the housing associations. But we assume the council has a copy of the survey so they can inspect tenanted properties.

If you’re an Optivo or NHG leaseholder affected by damp please write to Cllr Saleha Jaffer (our local councillor) to demand to see a copy of the survey. And please copy in . Using your own words is best, but here is some proposed text if you have writers block


Dear Cllr Jaffer

I am a leaseholder on the St Martins Estate and my property suffers from damp. My landlord has refused to fix it.

I believe Lambeth Council has a copy of the survey my landlord commissioned on damp in my block. I believe the council are using this survey to check if the damp was fixed in tenanted properties.

Please send me a copy of the survey for my block. I believe this survey will show the damp is my landlord’s problem, not my problem.

I look forward to hearing from you

If this fails we can try a Freedom of Information request. But we thought we could try this approach first as it’s easier.

If you’re an MTVH leaseholder, good(ish) news. We’ve now managed to trace a survey MTVH did in August 2021. Nobody in the residents association is a lawyer or a surveyor but it seems the key is paragraph 1.11 on page 12 “The block survey externally coupled with findings from individual pathological surveys inside many of the dwellings, does not indicate systemic or widespread failure to external walls or flat roof areas to rainwater penetration, requiring major improvement to the blocks e.g., installing external wall insulation or over cladding/rain screens. Although it has been identified from the internal surveys that some dwellings in the older solid wall flats would benefit from the installation of thermal vapour resistance thermal boards to thermally dry line certain external walls to those rooms within certain flats where the flat is an end of block or where rooms adjoin a communal stairwell or lift shaft”

Ludovic Basse from NHG has admitted all tenanted properties were surveyed. We haven’t got a copy of any of these surveys but we were told “Root causes were mould caused by condensation on solid brick walls. This was influenced by the elevation in where the aspect of the building was facing (North/South). It was also impacted by properties with high household numbers which produce more moisture although each case will be different”. He also said “the approach to damp and mould changed around how we deal with high level mould on solid brick properties. The wider use of internal wall insulation to provide a long term fix was rolled out as opposed to mould wash and anti-condensation paint which would not have the same level of long term protection”

How we campaign based on this survey will be a matter for the committee we elect at the Annual General Meeting on Monday 7th November. Please come so you can vote for the people you’d most like to be on the committee to carry forward this campaign.

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