Prevention is better than cure – dealing with disrepair and damp

DATE: 19th January 2022

TIME: 12:00 to 14:00

VENUE: Online via Zoom


The recent report of the Housing Ombudsman, Spotlight on: Damp and Mould – It’s not Lifestyle, makes for grim reading. Together with the White Paper, rising complaints and disrepair cases, housing providers need to act now to protect residents and avoid yet another ‘bad news’ story.


This FREE two-hour seminar focuses on helping to shift our thinking from reacting to preventing problems in the future. You will hear expert insights from the Housing Ombudsman, Devonshires Solicitors and senior ARK consultants.

The session will include:

  • Kieran Colgan, Director at ARK Consultancy. Spotting the signals early – how can the sector move from reacting to proactively managing problems associated with damp and mould.
  • Richard Blakeway, the Housing Ombudsman. Lessons learned from the Housing Ombudsman Service’s recently published Spotlight report on damp and mould.
  • Donna McCarthy, Partner at Devonshires legal firm. Reducing the risk of legal action – discussing the lessons to be learned from litigation.
  • Sara Woodall, Senior Consultant at ARK Consultancy. Reacting when things go wrong – looking at how to handle complaints. Looking at the cornerstones of Culture, Complaints, Check and Challenge.
  • Q&A.


  • The big issues emerging from the Spotlight on: Damp and Mould report
  • Key themes and learning arising from damp and mould complaints/legal action
  • Common things that can be done to manage damp and mould better
  • Ways that organisational policy and day-to-day practice can respond to damp and mould


This session is particularly relevant to Board Members and Councillors, Executive team members and Service Managers with responsibility for customer contact, housing management and asset management.


Kieran Colgan – began his career as an Environmental Health Officer going on to manage repairs and maintenance and private sector housing services. Kieran was formerly Lead Housing Inspector at the Audit Commission and recently led ARK’s independent investigation of Croydon Council following the high-profile ITV news coverage.

Richard Blakeway – was appointed as Housing Ombudsman in 2019. He has extensive experience in the housing sector, with previous roles including Deputy Mayor of London for Housing, Chair of the Homes for London board and non-executive director of Homes England.

Donna McCarthy – Donna is the Head of Housing Management and Property Litigation at Devonshires Solicitors, which is one of the largest specialist Housing Management teams in England and Wales. She has 30 years’ experience in representing tenants and landlords with a particular specialism in dealing with housing conditions claims.

Sara Woodall – Sara has over 30 years’ experience in the housing sector and has held Executive Director and Chief Executive roles. Sara has managed a range of challenging front-line services and has particular expertise in customer engagement, complaints and customer experience and contact centre management.


To book your space now, please complete the form details below. If you require any further information, please contact Joanne Turley –

A full agenda and joining instructions will be issued prior to the event.