- Jade Price
These issues will affect your tenant’s wellbeing
When tenants aren’t properly supported it can cost you money and even lead to tragedy. Fuel Poverty, Damp and Mould are issues that most housing providers see regularly and will affect your tenant’s health and wellbeing. Connected technology gives you the information you need to implement the correct support when your tenants need it most.
Imagine yourself in this scenario for just a second.
You wake up and turn your boiler on, just to get enough hot water for a shower. Your flat is freezing, but you cannot afford to turn on the heating. Heating bills are too expensive, and you have had to choose not to eat some weeks because of them. You feel you can’t reach out for help and your landlord doesn’t know your situation. You feel hopeless, cold and like there is no way out of this situation.
Now imagine how this could go if your landlord knew what was happening and could provide you with support.
At the heart of your business is the individuals you serve. Housing associations don’t just provide homes for those who need it but look after their wellbeing as well. Fuel poverty is a real risk for your tenants and is much more than feeling a bit cold!
Want to know more about the real risks of fuel poverty?
Technology is an enabler for better wellbeing support for housing providers.
Vericon collates information from the boiler, thermostats and MultiDOTs to understand the temperature the heating is set to, the boiler activity (both heating and hot water) along with temperature and humidity throughout the property. By interrogating the information our clients will be able to see:
If there is activity within the property, from the use of hot water
If the temperature is set too low suggesting the customer has turned the heating down
If the customer turns the heating down when it starts up
If the temperature is rising in a single room without boiler activity which suggests the customer is surviving on the heat from alternative sources such as gas fires, or electric heaters.
Technology can do much more to help tenant wellbeing than this.
Damp and mould are issues that affect the majority of social housing providers, with it recently being reported that 70 housing associations spent over £55million on claims in the past 5 years. But the detrimental effects damp and mould can have on tenants are immeasurable.
Health issues can start to arise when a tenant inhales mould spores. These spores contain a toxic substance known as Mycotoxins that can affect a person’s immune system. Everyone is affected differently, but these effects could last months or even years after the mould is eliminated from the property. Symptoms can range from cold, flu or hay fever like symptoms to Respiratory distress, skin irritation, lung diseases such as asthma or even cancer.
If a tenant experiences these side effects, they may seek compensation. This can be an immense cost from not only the compensation but also the legal fees associated.
The combination of MultiDOT and BCM give you the ability to monitor damp and humidity in real time, spot trends, and action solutions before damp and mould sets in and claims start to roll in.
Damp and mould issues are caused by humidity levels above 60% and temperatures between 15 and 25 degrees. Mould spores will begin to grow rapidly 24 to 48 hours after these conditions occur. As this temperature is the average comfort setting for houses in the UK, managing the humidity is the only option when tackling damp and mould issues.
Humidity can be influenced by three factors:
Failing building infrastructure.
Highly efficient building insulation upgrades without the corresponding ventilation upgrades.
Using the bi-directional client customer communication platform, Customer Connect, in addition to MultiDOT and BCM will further reduce the risk of damp and mould and associated claims by informing the tenant when humidity is too high in their property and advise on what to do to alleviate the issue. A full audit trail of the temperature and humidity in the property as well as Customer Connect activity can be seen on the Vericon Systems Portal. If a damp and mould issue is caused by tenant behaviour, the landlord is exempt from Fitness for Human Habitation claims and will not be required to remedy the situation.
If humidity isn’t influenced by customer activity, actions can be taken to fix any infrastructure or ventilation issues based on the temperature and humidity information collected from the property.
Find out more about the cost of damp and mould here...
Technology has been helping housing providers support vulnerable tenants in many different ways. You can find out the 5 ways housing providers are using technology to do this here...