Social Housing (Regulation) Act 2023
What is it?
Following the tragic events of Grenfell, the Government published its Social Housing Green Paper. This was then followed up two years later with a White paper. Now, over six years later we at last have the resulting legislation, in the form of the Social Housing (Regulation) Act.
The Act signifies the dawning of a new era for the social housing sector, embedding new tenants’ rights, and clearly setting out expectations for landlords to ensure they deliver a quality housing service that keeps tenants safe and secure in their homes.
What’s in it?
The Act itself describes its purpose as being to "reform the regulatory regime to drive significant change in landlord behaviour." To deliver this aim a whole range of new actions and requirements have been brought in.
You can see all of these by checking out the Act in its entirety here.
What are the key changes to look out for?
We have highlighed a few of the main changes below
- Inspections and Fines: The Act gives the Regulator of Social Housing the power to undertake regular inspections of the largest social housing providers and issue unlimited fines to Landlords who aren’t performing
- Housing Ombudsman: They will have additional powers to publish best practice guidance to landlords following investigations into tenant complaints.
- Qualifications and Professionalism: Managers of social housing in England will have to complete a housing management qualification. This is to ensure that managers have the skills and knowledge necessary to provide a good quality and effective housing service.
- Awaabs Law: Following the tragic death of Awaab Ishak, this gives the regulator powers to set strict time limits for social landlords to address hazards such as damp and mould.
- Reform of the Consumer Standards: The Act paves the way for a stronger, more proactive way for the Regulator to check if Landlords are performing and meeting the standards required of them. Not only does this mean a new inspection regime and tenant satisfaction measures, but it also means a new set of consumer standards that the Regulator will check performance against. You will see that one of the proposed standards is a new Transparency, Influence and Accountability Standard which would replace the existing Tenant Involvement and Empowerment Standard.
Consultation on the proposed new Consumer Standards
The Regulator is currently consulting on these new standards now. Here is a link to their consultation papers.
Closing date for submitting your views as part of the consultation is the 17th October.
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