At the moment the estate is trapped in an opposite cycle, in which a poorly maintained building attracts the kind of tenants who don't care about the state of their homes, and they in turn cause damage to the property. This cycle must be stopped and a positive one created in its place.
To begin with, a bare minimum standard of maintenance must be met at all times for the health and safety of the tenants. A new system for assessing the conditions of a dwelling has recently been implemented in the Housing Act 2004 and these standards should be taken into account when considering repairs. According to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the new Housing Health and Safety Rating System, implemented April 2006, outlines hazards that will be assessed. Those hazards which may affect this estate include: damp and mould growth, excess cold, excess heat, domestic hygiene, lighting, and noise (Office of the Deputy Prime Minister 2006). Although the maintenance department is technically responsible for the health and safety of the building, there are a lot of preventative measures that tenants can be encouraged to take, through incentives if necessary. Also, with a little investment in the right infrastructure, problems can be prevented before repairs are needed.
One of the most pressing concerns in any building is moisture. An apartment with too much moisture will inevitably become a mouldy apartment. Mould causes: health risks, such as respiratory problems and allergies; a dirty, unmaintained-looking appearance; and even damage to building materials (Building Management, Mildew, 2006). For this reason, management should offer to split the cost of a low-end humidifier with any tenant who agrees to buy one. This not only demonstrates management's genuine concern for the health of the tenants, it also creates a solid infrastructure of moisture prevention which can prevent costly mould problems in the future.
Excess cold and excess heat are problems within this estate during certain seasons, particularly excess cold. A lot of cold gets in through poorly sealed windows and poorly insulated walls. A temporary solution for this problem is to provide any tenant who is willing with weather stripping for the windows. This reduces heating costs and improves the temperature of the property by a sizable amount. However, due to the poor insulation in the building, cold still gets in through the walls. Replacing the insulation should become a priority in the long term.
Excess heat is less of a problem, and mainly results from poor ventilation. Ventilation is also an important factor because a lack of ventilation can cause moisture to collect and allow for the growth of dangerous mould. Therefore it is of the utmost importance that every room of the building be well-ventilated. Although the approximate installation cost for a ventilator is $225 (National Center for Healthy Housing, 2005), it is necessary to prevent dampness and mould. Every kitchen and bathroom in the building should be checked for a working ventilator, and where necessary, a new one installed.
The domestic hygiene or cleanliness of the home