New social housing regime comes into effect

A new regime for social housing has come into force from 3 April, in an attempt to deliver decent homes for residents.

Landlords will now be routinely inspected and held to account, with those not abiding facing a range of potential sanctions, including appointing new management or unlimited fines.    

Landlords will now be required to have an accurate record on the condition of every home (based on checks of properties), so landlords can understand any problems and take action, and they will need to set clear timelines for the completion of repairs, maintenance and planned improvements, communicating them clearly to tenants.

They will also need to give tenants opportunities to influence and scrutinise their landlord’s services such as through meetings with tenant organisations; provide tenants with information about their rights and how to make complaints; and publish the new tenant satisfaction measures to make it clear how tenants feel their landlord is performing and hold them to account.

Minister for social housing Baroness Scott said: “Everyone deserves a decent home and to be treated with fairness and respect. That’s why we are taking strong action to improve the quality of social housing and the services landlords provide. If landlords fail their residents, there will be consequences.

“This is a significant milestone in our work to put right some of the issues laid bare by the devastating Grenfell Tower tragedy, and I have huge admiration for the bereaved families, survivors and community who have campaigned tirelessly for improvements in the sector.”

Fiona MacGregor, chief executive of the Regulator of Social Housing said: “We welcome the new powers, which will put our consumer regulation on an equal footing with our economic role.  We will hold landlords to account for delivering the outcomes of our new consumer standards and drive improvement across the social housing sector, for the benefit of tenants.“

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