Heating and Ventilation
Condensation and mould presents a real issue for landlords. Under the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 it’s a legal requirement that rental properties are fit for human habitation, including having effective ventilation and being free from damp. Therefore it’s essential that landlords ensure their properties are protected. Jeremy Cleeter from condensation and mould control specialist Airtech shares his top tips for staying on top of this enduring problem.
Just one year since The Association of Gas Safety Managers (AGSM), part of the ASCP Group - along with campaign partners CORGI Technical Services - celebrated a landmark victory in bringing a long-awaited change to regulation 36a into force, the introduction of MOT-style gas servicing has had a significant positive impact on landlords, with one council saving over £150,000 this year alone.
Under the new scheme – the result of five years’ tireless campaigning by the ASCP and its partners – LGSRs can be completed up to two months before the anniversary of the previous check, whilst retaining the existing expiry date.
Condensation is a topic that continues to dominate the housing agenda, as misdiagnosis and tenant behaviour patterns contribute to the worsening problem. With the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 putting pressure on landlords to act, Paul Harrington, Head of Residential Sales at Elta Fans, highlights the major issues surrounding condensation, and how landlords should go about tackling the problem.
The importance of raising awareness surrounding condensation issues amongst landlords is best highlighted with the numbers: 20% of UK households are privately rented, with a further 17% being social housing. That means that over 1/3 of UK households operate with a tenant-landlord relationship, with occupants reliant upon their landlords to fix issues with the property.
Residents living in the refurbished ‘Boat Blocks’ high rise apartments in Duddeston, Birmingham, are reaping the benefits of new ventilation systems from EnviroVent as part of a major refurbishment project.
The Boat Blocks, owned by Birmingham City Council, consist of four 12 storey tower blocks of 66 apartments each, with EnviroVent’s whole house ventilation units installed in all 264 properties.
Birmingham City Council was aware of condensation and mould issues in the apartments, which were at risk of being exacerbated when External Wall Insulation (EWI) was fitted as part of the upgrade that would effectively reduce natural ventilation to the flats. The council wanted to take a proactive approach to ventilating the flats to protect the health of residents and the fabric of the building and avoid potentially costly disrepair issues in the future.
When it comes to housing provision, social landlords have some tough decisions to make; how to transition their housing stock so it is fit for a net-zero world, while continuing to deliver social value for their tenants.
For heating homes, the aim is to make heating low carbon and affordable without compromising comfort. The challenge, however, is how to achieve low carbon heating without incurring costs that could inadvertently tip tenants into fuel poverty.
The introduction of the Future Homes Standard in 2025 mandates the use of low carbon heating for all new-build homes in England. Similar rules are also proposed for Scottish and Welsh homes by their respective governments. However, there are over four million existing social homes in the UK that also need to move away from fossil fuels if we are to achieve our net-zero ambitions. How we electrify the UK’s domestic heating is one of the country’s most challenging problems.
We’re all acutely aware of how air pollution can affect tenants' health. For too long, air pollution has been considered as an “outdoor problem”. But what about the air inside homes? After all, it’s the same air, just trapped within four walls. And, trapped as it is, it is susceptible to all kinds of indoor pollutants.
We spend around 90% of our time indoors, so it’s vital that the air we breathe there is clean. Together with leading air conditioning unit supplier Daikin, we explore the risks of toxins building up and reducing the air quality within the home, and what can be done to improve indoor air quality.