The Regulator of Social Housing will have stronger powers to issue unlimited fines, enter properties with only 48 hours’ notice and make emergency repairs.
These new rules will come into force under the Social Housing Regulation Bill which was introduced to Parliament on 8th June.
Landlords to foot the bill for emergency repairs
“If the RSH finds that the standard of the home is putting tenants lives at risk, it will be able to order emergency repairs, with landlords footing the bill.
“Unlimited fines will be levied at housing associations and councils that are found to be persistently under-performing, while the government will set about on a programme of naming and shaming the worst culprits.”
As part of the regulator’s expanded powers, the RSH will be able to assess landlords on consumer standards, including on complaint-handling.
Kate Henderson, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation, says:
“Having a home that is warm and dry, safe, secure and affordable is the right of every person in this country. For social housing providers this means providing high quality living standards in every home and carrying out repairs on time.”
“Councils want all residents to be able to live in safe and secure, high-quality housing”
Responding to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announcement that ‘Ofsted-style’ inspections and unlimited fines will be introduced for failing social landlords, Cllr David Renard, housing spokesperson for the Local Government Association, said:
“The vast majority of social landlords are responsible and provide decent housing to tenants and residents, but recent reports have shone a light on the need for continuous learning and improvement to be made.
“Councils want all residents to be able to live in safe and secure, high-quality housing. The LGA continues to support councils to improve their housing management services and engagement with tenants and residents through the delivery of a social housing management peer challenge and promotion of best practice, as part of our sector support offer.
“As well as improving existing homes, the social housing supply is not sufficient to meeting the current housing demand, which is why we want to see long-term plans to give councils powers to build 100,000 high-quality, climate-friendly social homes a year, including reform of the Right to Buy scheme, which has made it difficult for councils to build replacement homes at the rate at which they are sold.”