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The Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) has published “preliminary ideas” for how it will regulate social landlords’ treatment of tenants as set out in the Social Housing White Paper published last year.

Picture: Getty

Picture: Getty


RSH changes its consumer regulation plan for tenants #UKhousing #SocialHousingFinance

The new regulation guidelines, released amid increasing scrutiny over the quality of social housing stock across the UK, will use the same “underlying principles” used for economic regulation, the RSH said.

Those principles are described as “co-regulatory, proportionate, and risk- and assurance-based”, with a focus on outcomes rather than being prescriptive.

RSH also confirmed that it will continue to focus on organisational issues rather than individual ones.

The regulator said this will be done by measuring consumer standards across six themes: safety, quality, neighbourhood, transparency, engagement and accountability, and tenancies.

Within the new approach to consumer regulation, tools such as consumer regulation inspections and desk-top reviews will be employed, as well as data collection around tenant satisfaction.

Tenant satisfaction measures are to be introduced for tenants “to hold their landlords to account”.

According to the regulator, measures included in this strategy ensure the information collected support the aims set out in the white paper.

They include ensuring details are not being manipulated to make a landlord’s performance look better than it really is, and that collecting does not cost the landlord more than the benefit that having the measures provides.

The move sees consumer regulation reintroduced since its removal in 2010 under the now scrapped Tenant Services Authority, and landlords with more than 1,000 homes will be expected to carry out routine inspections.

The new consumer regulation marks a change in scope for the RSH, which will now look at the quality of social housing, as well as the relationships between tenants and landlords.

Fiona MacGregor, chief executive of the RSH, said: “We are pleased to share an overview of our early thinking about how we will reshape consumer regulation and implement the changes set out in the Social Housing White Paper. We look forward to working with social housing tenants, landlords and other stakeholders as we develop our thinking further.

“However, delivering all this will take time. Boards and councillors responsible for social housing should not wait for new consumer regulation to look at how they can improve their landlord services and their engagement with tenants.”

A formal consultation on the new measures will begin in December.


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