Tips for Dealing with Damp and Mould

What is mould?

Mould is a type of fungus that grows in damp places. If you’ve got mould at home, you’ll probably notice fuzzy black, white or green patches on the walls, ceilings or tiles. It might smell damp and musty.

Mould is more common in homes which need repairs like window frames fixed, or leaks sorted out. You might notice it’s more damp and mouldy in bathrooms or kitchens because of condensation from washing and cooking.

Why damp and mould are a problem for asthma

Living in a damp, mouldy home is not good for asthma. Babies, small children, older people, and people with allergies are more likely to be affected.

Mould produces spores which can be breathed in. If you’re allergic to mould spores you might have symptoms like coughing, wheezing, sneezing or watery eyes. And it could trigger your asthma symptoms.

Damp and mouldy housing can put you more at risk of other things that can make asthma worse like chest infections, colds and flu, and rhinitis.

What to do if you’ve got damp and mould at home

If you think your home is damp, or you’ve noticed mould, it’s best to act quickly to sort out the problem before it gets worse.

You need to:

  • Deal with the damp – find out what’s causing the damp, such as leaks, or condensation from cooking, showering or drying clothes indoors.
  • Deal with the mould – don’t try and get rid of any mould by yourself if it triggers asthma – ask a friend to help. And always get a mould removal specialist or builder in if the mould covers more than a square metre, or if it’s caused by problems with the building itself, or sewage.
  • Report any repairs or leaks, or problems with mould to your landlord

5 Top tips to prevent damp and mould at home

1.  Open windows and doors so air can move around.

2. Try to avoid drying clothes indoors. If you have nowhere else to dry them, open a window if you can.

3. Use extractor fans in the kitchen and bathroom or open a window when cooking or after a shower.

4. Close the door of the room you’re in if you’re cooking or showering – to prevent condensation in other rooms

5. Try to keep your home at a good background temperature so it never gets too cold – at least 15 degrees in all rooms.

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Best Group of Housing award for the new Cliffburn flats in Arbroath

We are delighted to announce that our recently completed development of 14 new flats at Cliffburn in Arbroath was voted winner in the category of ‘Best Group of Housing’ at the Dundee Institute of Architects Awards on 17 November 2022.

It’s great that the project has been very well received generally and especially by our tenants. The simple but clever design has transformed a vacant site in this part of Arbroath, and this award is recognition for the efforts of all involved.

Important Safety Notice – Glen Dimplex Home Appliances – What to do if you have a Belling, New World or Stoves gas cooker

On Wednesday 2 November, Glen Dimplex Home Appliances (GDHA) issued a public announcement for more than 66,000 dangerous gas cookers which pose a carbon monoxide poisoning risk

GDHA have to visit every home with an affected Belling, New World or Stoves cooker to carry out a free technical modification so that the operation of the gas grill is safe. Affected consumers can contact the company immediately to book an appointment.  This action follows intervention by The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) following a death reported by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in February 2022.  The HSE concluded a Belling gas grill had been used with the door closed which caused a significant build-up of carbon monoxide to escape into the property.  OPSS analysed product safety data which revealed certain models of GDHA gas cookers with a separate gas grill have an inherent carbon monoxide risk putting consumers in danger.

Until their cookers are made safe, the key advice from GDHA and OPSS is to ensure that affected consumers leave the grill door open when in operation.

Consumers must call 0800 110 5728 or email consumersupport@glendimplex.com to register for the free modification. In the meantime, consumers must only use the gas grill with the grill door open.

For further information, please access the following webpages:

OPSS has also required GDHA and retailers to remove the product from sale immediately.

A link to the news story is available on the Scottish Government website.

Angus Homefinder Problem with Change of Circumstances Form 

We have noticed that some applicants cannot report a change of circumstances in their housing application and our contractor is working to fix this issue.

We will update you when the problem is fixed.

Thank you for your continued patience.

If you have an urgent enquiry about your application, please contact our AngusHomefinder team at AngusHomefinder@angus.gov.uk or call our ACCESSLine at 03452 777 778.

Angus Homefinder Update

Our Angus Homefinder contractor contacted us this morning to apologise for any inconvenience caused by the latest update to the system.

They have advised us that all reported issues have now been resolved. If you have a live application and are still unable to get on to the system to bid for properties, please contact our Angus Homefinder team at AngusHomefinder@angus.gov.uk or call our ACCESSLine at 03452 777 778.

Our teams would also like to extend our thanks for your patience during this time.

Rent Increase. Have your say!*

Are you an Angus Council tenant? If so, we need your views on the proposed rent increase for 2023/24 and options on how your rent money will be spent.

All three options would keep your rent amongst the lowest in Scotland.

If you are having difficulty paying your rent because of the cost of living crisis please contact your arrears officer as soon as possible by phoning ACCESSLine on 03452 777 778.

What about the Rent Freeze?

We know that the Scottish Government has implemented a rent freeze on properties in the social and private rented sectors. At present, the rent freeze is only scheduled to last until March 2023, although it could be extended. We are doing this consultation based on the current situation, but if the rent freeze is extended past March 2023, the results of this consultation will not apply. If that happens, we will put more information on this blog.

Why are we proposing to increase the rent? 

We need to make sure the money we take in from rent is enough to pay for existing services, including repairs, but also to pay for larger improvements needed for tenants’ homes and to help build new homes.

Rent increases allow us to invest in tenants’ homes to continue to meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard and the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing.

The rent rise is partly based on the inflation measure of CPI (Consumer Price Index), and, in recent years we agreed an additional set percentage with the Tenant Rent Setting Group. However, this year CPI in July was 10.1%. Due to the current cost of living crisis, we have looked at alternative options this year, as we think a rent increase of 11.1% would be unaffordable for tenants.

We believe freezing rents would not provide enough income to pay for existing services and repairs. It would result in services being reduced, and we would also not be able to make improvements to existing stock, for example energy efficiency improvements. A rent freeze would likely result in higher rent increases in future to cover the shortfall.

The current 5 year Business Plan is based on an additional set percentage of 1%. The Business Plan has set out that 70 new homes will be built each year, as well as the following improvements to existing stock: 450 gas and electric heating installations, 600 properties receiving external wall insulation and energy efficiency measures, and 700 replacement bathrooms.

How we decide on the Increase

We’re carrying out a consultation to help tenants consider the rent increase options and clearly see how the rent money will be spent.

The results of this survey will be presented at the Communities Committee in February 2023, where the final decision on a rent increase for 2023/24 will be made.

Rent Increase – the options

The Tenant Rent Setting Group has agreed three options which the members feel will bring benefits to tenants while keeping rents affordable.

Please choose your preferred rent rise option. The three options are:

The above options, which have been put together with input from the Tenant Rent Setting Group, are all below current levels of inflation, and would leave a shortfall over the period of the Capital Plan to 2024/25. This means that we will need to borrow more to continue to deliver existing services, and potentially reduce the Capital expenditure, for example fewer energy efficiency improvements to homes. Additional borrowing to cover this shortfall would reduce the amount of money we can borrow longer term across the next 30 years. This may mean that there would have to be higher rent rises in future years to cover the shortfall.

The graph below shows our average weekly rents over the past six years compared to other neighbouring local authorities (figures from the Scottish Housing Regulator).


If I’m struggling financially, what can I do?
We have lots of information to help people get through the current difficult period here.
 
To have your say on the rent options,
please complete the survey online by 4 November 2022*.

*Please note this consultation is open to current Angus Council tenants only

Angus Homefinder Problem for Yahoo Email Addresses

We have been notified of some customers not receiving an email after requesting new passwords for their housing application on Angus Homefinder. We asked our contractor to investigate there may be an issue for customers with Yahoo email addresses. There can be a significant delay in receiving these emails.

Our contractor will investigate further and are hopeful they will fix the issue soon.

If you’ve requested a new password, please continue to check your inbox and junk mail if you haven’t received it.

If you require access to your account to bid on properties and cannot, please contact us at  AngusHomefinder@angus.gov.uk or contact ACCESSLine at 03452 777 778.

Thank you for your patience.

Angus Homefinder Login Problem

We are aware of a major problem with the Angus Homefinder Choice Based Lettings system. If you are trying to log in to bid on properties, you will get the message – “Not a valid user.” Please be patient, our contractor is aware of the issue and is working on it urgently. We will provide updates as soon as we have them.