We were alarmed to see Richard Blakeway, of the Housing Ombudsman Service state on BBC news that he believed that 1 in 10 houses in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) suffered from mould.
He was commenting on the tragic death of a 2 year old boy, who died after developing breathing problems. Det Insp Mark McDowall told Rochdale Coroners’ Court it was his “understanding” mould was a factor in the boy’s death.
The boy, Awaab Ishak, was living in social housing supplied by Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH), the Chief Executive, Gareth Swarbrick, was sacked following a defiant statement.
The mould that killed Awaab was in the bathroom and kitchen of the flat in Rochdale he shared with his parents, Faisal Abdullah and Aisha Amin was first reported the mould to RBH in 2017 and was told to paint over it.
Mr Blakeway made his apparently unsubstantiated claim regarding mould in the PRS during a BBC interview.
We have written to Mr Blakeway,and have recieved the following reply.
The letter to Mr Blakeway can be seen here, and says:
Dear Mr Blakeway
We note with interest your comments on BBC news on Wednesday Nov 16th.
As a landlord association representing caring, law abiding landlords, we have no problems with your comments on private landlords belonging to some form of redress/ombudsman scheme; in fact we are sure you are aware that the Government is actively working on this very matter.
But we were appalled at your throw-away comment that 1 in 10 properties in private rental suffer from mould. This is especially disturbing in the light of the death of the little boy in social housing in Rochdale, and we find it a most reprehensible, and probably unsubstantiated claim to make.
We would be pleased for you to make a public retraction of this, unless of course, you have inconvertible proof for this claim, which we would be please to see.
We look forward to hearing from you.