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Social Housing Regulation Bill: Last chance for RPs to prepare – Matt Cowen in LABM


Almost five years after the Grenfell Tower fire of 2017, it is being reported that the Government is at last likely to publish the Social Housing Regulation Bill in the coming weeks. This Bill, prompted by the tragic events of 14th June 2017, will fundamentally change the way that Registered Providers (RPs) interact with their tenants so RPs must be ready to respond.

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Although we await the final detail, the principles that will underpin the Bill have been well trailed in the 2020 Social Housing White Paper and the 2021 Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) policy document Reshaping Consumer Regulation: Our Principles and Approach. If they have not done so already, RPs should prepare now for these impending changes given how far-reaching they are intended to be and the doubtless public interest that the new law will attract.

A key component of the proposed legislation will be to expand the remit of the RSH to proactively regulate the level of service that RPs provide to their tenants, including undertaking routine inspections of stock for landlords with over 1,000 homes. This is a marked change from the reactive approach to consumer regulation that the RSH have taken to date, only involving themselves where there is a risk of “serious detriment” to tenants.

The other headline proposals are well known and include improving the safety and quality of housing stock and introducing new tenant satisfaction measures to provide greater transparency and accountability to tenants. Boards should be spending time now actively considering how to implement these changes with reference to their specific tenant and stock profile.

RPs have had considerable notice of the Bill and its contents so it would be no surprise if the RSH is inflexible in agreeing time extensions to achieve compliance once the Bill is passed. RPs should therefore use the time wisely and act now.

Read the full article in LABM

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