Understanding social housing consumer standards

On 1 April, 2024 the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) launched revised standards for social housing.

The aim is to protect social housing tenants and improve the services they receive. They are tougher than previous standards and empower tenants to hold their landlords to account.

The new standards are:

  1. Safety and quality – good and safe homes

A strengthening and replacement of the existing Home Standard. This new standard now explicitly includes safety and will require us, as landlord, to provide safe and good-quality homes, as well as good-quality services for tenants.
Under this standard we must have ‘accurate, up-to-date evidence’ on the condition of our homes. To ensure this is met we have to physically inspect all of our homes on a regular basis and collect accurate data.
Another feature of this standard relates to repairs, which must be ‘effective, efficient and timely’. Tenants should be well informed on the process of reporting repairs and kept up to date with the progress of works. This highlights how clear communication and openness with tenants is a key feature throughout these new standards.

  1. Transparency, influence and accountability – good relationships with tenants

This requires us to be open with tenants, treating them with fairness and respect, as well as acknowledging their diverse needs. A vital aspect of this is effective engagement with tenants to allow them to influence decisions and scrutinise our policies and services. We must give tenants a wide range of meaningful opportunities to have their say.

  1. Neighbourhood and community – safe and well-kept neighbourhoods

This standard is a result of tenants highlighting their concerns about the quality of spaces around their homes. Whilst we may not always be the organisation responsible for the space around your homes, this standard requires us to work with the organisations and other landlords, who are responsible, to contribute to the upkeep and safety of shared spaces.

We must have a clear anti-social behaviour (ASB) policy and ensure incidents can be easily reported and promptly responded to with appropriate action. We must ensure we have the right services in place to support tenants experiencing domestic abuse. The over-arching aim of this standard is to ensure tenants can live in safe and well-maintained neighbourhoods.

  1. Tenancy – renting homes to tenants

This standard relates to a tenant’s journey throughout their tenancy with a landlord, starting with a fair and transparent allocation process that takes into account a tenant’s specific needs.
In relation to mutual exchange, we must offer information about the implications of tenure, rent and service charges to tenants.
Additionally, we should support tenants to maintain their tenancy or licence – to prevent unnecessary evictions. But where we have to end a tenancy or licence we must offer affected tenants timely advice and support.
The key focus of this standard is ensuring fairness and transparency throughout a tenancy.

We are classed as a large provider with more than 1,000 properties. That means we are subject to a full inspection by the regulator.

The results of our first inspection are due in August 2024.


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