Headlines: November 12th, 2009

A new framework for the way social housing is regulated is being set out today and will see greater emphasis being placed on the relationship between landlords and their tenants at local level. The Tenant Services Authority says it is setting the scene for a new world of regulation where tenants are at the heart of decisions about their homes and how services are delivered by landlords.

The TSA is launching ‘A new regulatory framework for social housing’. The statutory consultation details the standards for landlords which will be central to how the Authority regulates social housing in England. They focus on six areas, tenant involvement and empowerment; the home, including repairs and maintenance; tenancy, including allocations and rent; neighbourhood and community; value for money, and governance and financial viability.

The authority says that for tenants this will mean greater focus on issues that matter most them, such as repairs, affordable rents and anti-social behaviour. The plans will mean more opportunities for tenants to have their say and to hold their landlords to account. They will; also get more information from their landlords, including an annual report setting out how well they are doing against local standards. For landlords the regulations will mean a greater responsibility to work closely with tenants to drive improvements and more flexibility in how they deliver their services and more accountability to tenants and partner organisations.

Peter Marsh, Chief Executive of the TSA, said: “We are proposing a significant reduction in red tape with the withdrawal of around 50 circulars and all good practice notes. In return we will expect landlords to be more transparent in their performance and make themselves more accountable to their tenants.”