Damp, mould and condensation

Damp can cause mould on walls, furniture and on clothes stored in cupboards.

It can also make window frames rot. Some damp is caused by condensation leading to the growth of mould which appears as a cloud of little black dot and has an unpleasant smell.

It can also lead to health problems.

It’s an issue that we take extremely seriously and have outlined an action plan to tackle the issue in homes across Hackney. As part of this we have made a commitment that plumber will visit all leaks reported in our council homes across the borough by at least the end of the following day.


Damp and mould action plan

The Mayor of Hackney has set out an action plan. The plan would see us redouble our efforts to tackle damp and mould in:

  • Hackney Council-managed homes
  • those of any other social landlord
  • private rented homes

This includes:

  • inspecting all reports of damp and mould within five working days
  • setting up a dedicated hotline in our repairs contact centre to speed up getting issues of damp and mould reported
  • directing more of our housing budgets into underpinning our work to combat damp and mould – for our council homes we are already investing an extra £1m which includes expanding our repairs service to provide a swift, more focused response. In next year’s budget we will be sustaining this level of new investment to improve repairs and tackle damp and mould in our own homes.
  • investing a further £400,000 on more environmental health officers to help those in the private rented sector secure the repairs needed to ensure their homes are safe and free from damp and mould
  • ensuring that all our housing officers out and about across the borough are fully aware of the signs of damp and mould and how to ensure it is properly reported

For more information visit Hackney News.

Responding to reports of leaks

As part of our action plan to tackle damp and mould we are speeding up the time we respond to reports of leaks. A plumber will visit all reported leaks in our homes by at the latest the end of the following day after they were reported to either fix it or schedule any work needed to repair it.

If you detect a leak you should contact our repairs centre on 0208 356 3691. Contact them as soon as possible so they can arrange a visit. If the call is outside of normal office hours our emergency repairs team will deal with it in the same way.

Damp and mould in privately rented properties

If you live in a privately rented property and are having issues with your landlord about tackling damp and mould contact us. Send an email to privatesectorhousing@hackney.gov.uk with information or call 0208 356 4866 and we can investigate and work with you to get the issue resolved.


Condensation is the moisture build up caused by everyday activities such as cooking, showering/bathing and drying clothes indoors. You can take some simple steps to reduce condensation, helping to prevent damp and mould.

Tackling existing mould

Mould is a living organism and must be killed to remove it. To do this, wipe down affected areas with a specialist mould spray instead of using products like bleach or washing up liquid as they do not kill the mould effectively.

  • mould spray can be purchased from most supermarkets and hardware shops
  • when using any mould spray, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and check that it carries a Health and Safety Executive approved number
  • try to avoid disturbing mould by brushing or vacuuming because this can increase the risk of breathing problems
  • treat any mould you may already have in your home then do what you can to reduce condensation. This will restrict new mould growth
  • throw away any cloths you have used to clean the mould
  • clothes that have mould growing on them should be dry cleaned and carpets with mould on them should be shampooed

Watch our video about tackling damp and mould in the home.

After treatment, if redecorating is needed, use a good quality fungicidal paint to help prevent mould recurring. But don’t paint or wallpaper over this paint as that makes it ineffective.

Other causes of damp

Damp in walls and ceilings can be caused by condensation. But there are other causes of damp, such as:

  • leaking internal and external pipes
  • rising damp – moisture from the ground into the walls of buildings which results in structural damage. This only appears at ground level and is usually seen by a damp patch above the skirting board
  • penetrating damp – is generally caused by a problem with the building, allowing rain water to penetrate through into the home. It can affect roofs, doors, ceilings and walls and unlike rising damp, can happen at any level
  • cold bridging – is where due to the design of the building there are specific cold spots created, for example a concrete floor extends out to an external concrete balcony

If you are experiencing damp in your home, please contact our repairs contact centre.

Page updated on: 3 February 2023

Repairs Contact Centre


Opening times

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday – 9am to 5pm (telephone)
  • Wednesday – 9am to 4pm (telephone)
  • You can call outside office hours to report emergency repairs