Council is receiving a dampness complaint each week
Poor conditions mean 1200 on waiting list for new home
A council tenant complains about damp in their home every week, it has been revealed.
West Dunbartonshire Council has confirmed that the local authority has had 64 complaints in the last year relating to dampness — more than five every month.
And the local authority has admitted that almost 1200 tenants are currently on the waiting list looking to move home.
The figures were revealed to the Lennox Herald following our story last week about 21-year-old Demi-Paige Black and her partner Ross McFall having to spend the last seven months sleeping on their sofa due to damp taking over their bedroom.
The problem emerged over a year ago and the council is only now fixing the issue after the Lennox Herald got involved.
Several tenants expressed their concern over the state of council houses across the area on our Facebook page last week and, in response, we quizzed the local authority on the extent of the problem.
The spokesman continued: “Our complaints register shows that we received 64 complaints relating to dampness in the last 12 months.
“Not all of these would have resulted in treatment as some dampness reports relate to condensation, which can be resolved through properly ventilating and heating a property. It should be noted that, in the last year, we have carried out more than 36,000 reactive repairs with customer satisfaction sitting at above 93 percent, according to latest figures.”
Demi told us how she had several conversations with the council before action was taken and, up until our story being published last week, still felt that the problem behind the dampness wasn’t being addressed.
Answering our question about how dampness complaints are dealt with, the spokesman told us: “When dampness is identified within a property, depending on the cause, we would instruct a repair to be carried out.
“This would be actioned within four weeks. If the dampness is extensive, we would instruct a specialist contractor to fully survey the property to determine the cause and appropriate solution.
“A tenant could be decanted from a property if the work required was extensive and involved a number of rooms.”
Demi told us how she had applied to be moved from the property to another council house but didn’t have points which would qualify her for a move as she doesn’t have a related medical condition.
When we asked the council how many tenants are currently on the waiting list, the spokesman said: “1189 current tenants have submitted applications to move home.”
A report due to go before the council’s housing and communities committee next week shows that only 87.8 percent of reactive repairs carried out in the last year were completed right first time. This had slipped from 94.5 percent in the previous year.
It also confirms that West Dunbartonshire is ranked as one of the worst in Scotland for meeting the Scottish Housing Quality Standard by 2015 as only 88.2 percent of homes in the area meet the benchmark set by the Scottish Government.
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