Islington Council has apologised for not doing enough to tackle damp and mould in its properties.

The council has committed to investing an extra £1 million a year to combat the problem.

The announcement comes following the Housing Ombudsman’s decision on December 14 to launch an investigation into the council as a landlord.

The watchdog had received repeated complaints about damp and mould in Islington council homes.

Between April 1, 2021 and March 31 this year, the ombudsman formally warned Islington Council about its conduct in four out of the five damp, mould and leaks complaints it investigated.

The council says it is committed to doing more to tackle the problem.

New funding will be allocated to improving ventilation and insulation in homes, as well as allowing for the creation of a damp and mould action team, including specialist surveyors.

The council says it will review all damp and mould cases from the last three years, contacting tenants to make sure the issue has now been resolved.

Other measures include training non-specialist staff who might visit homes, such as workers who carry out gas compliance checks, to spot damp and mould, as well as staffing a dedicated line for calls from concerned tenants.

Cllr Una O’Halloran, Islington Council’s executive member for homes and communities, said: “We want everyone in Islington to have a place to call home, which is secure, decent and genuinely affordable.

“It’s vital tenants live in homes that are free from damp and mould.  We’re very sorry that in some cases we’ve fallen short of the high standards our residents deserve, and we need to do better.

“We will keep working to eradicate damp and mould until our tenants have the secure, decent, genuinely affordable homes they need.”

The Housing Ombudsman said that it would publish a report highlighting any issues it identifies in the cases under investigation. It will then make further recommendations to Islington Council if necessary.

Islington Council is currently the landlord to more than 36,000 households, 25,200 of which have council tenants. The remaining 10,700 households belong to leaseholders.

Damp and mould in rented properties has recently received national attention, after a coroner ruled that two-year-old Awaab Ishak died of a respiratory condition caused by mould in a Rochdale flat.