Social landlords must up their game under new laws

 Social Housing (Regulation) Act

New legislation aimed at improving social housing conditions became law in July 2023. It will also allow standards to be set on the competence and conduct “of all staff involved in the provision of housing management services”.

The Social Housing (Regulation) Act 2023 introduces stronger regulation of social landlords and a more proactive approach to consumer regulation.

The Act enables the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) to set standards on the provision of information and enhances requirements around tenant safety.

The legislation aims to rectify conditions in social housing that led to the Grenfell Tower fire, where 72 people died, and the death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak following exposure to mould. Four million households (17% of all households) live in rented social housing in England.

The new qualification requirements will apply to relevant managers working for housing associations and local authority landlords, and to contracted services providers, including arms-length management organisations and tenant management organisations.

During its passage through parliament, the Act was amended to include a requirement that homes must also be energy efficient.

However, there is still no detail about how energy-efficiency measures, new homes and regeneration or remediation works will be funded.

The chief executive officer of the Chartered Institute of Housing, Gavin Smart, said: “The Act will provide an important foundation for giving tenants a greater voice, improving access to redress and increasing the focus on professionalism in the sector.” 

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