The Social Housing (Regulation) Act, which was submitted as a direct result of the Grenfell disaster, was passed into law at the end of July, giving residents more protection from serious issues arising from poor landlords.
This new law will better protect you, as residents, if your home is unsafe or unfit to live in. The landmark law’s changes include:
- Strengthening the Regulator of Social Housing to carry out regular inspections of the largest social housing providers and giving them the power to issue unlimited fines
- Additional Housing Ombudsman powers to publish best practice guidance to landlords following investigations into complaints from residents
- Powers to set strict time limits for social landlords like us to address hazards such as damp and mould
- Awaab’s Law – a clause named after two-year-old Awaab Ishak, who tragically died from prolonged exposure to mould in a social housing flat. This law requires social landlords to respond to, and investigate, repairs within certain timescales (which are yet to be set) We currently have timescales for repairs but will work to new timescales as needed and we are already working on how we will ensure this happens.
- New qualification requirements for social housing managers
- Introducing stronger economic powers to follow inappropriate money transactions outside of the sector
The Regulator will also have the capability to enter properties with only 48 hours’ notice to the landlord (which was previously set at 28 days’ notice) to make emergency repairs where there is a serious risk to residents’ health and wellbeing. These works will be at the expense of the us as the landlord.
Finally, social landlords can be issued with Performance Improvement Plan Notices if they fail to meet standards or fail to provide documents or information that has been requested by the Regulator.
So, what are we doing at Your Housing Group?
We have a Lessons Learnt internal group to share best practice and learning from complaints. We’re also increasing our resource in this area with the launch of our Customer Resolution Team which is set to take place this month.
Our work around Damp and Mould has been a priority for some years and continues to be the case. We have written to all our residents asking you to tell us if we have missed anything or didn’t know, as we want to ensure all our homes are comfortable but most importantly, safe.
Jacque Allen, Chief Executive Officer, said, “Your safety is our top priority and this new Social Housing Act is vital in ensuring we are all accountable to our residents and drives forward change.
"Ensuring our residents live in a dry, safe, comfortable home and recognising and meeting their individual needs is essential.
“We welcome the new law which provides clear guidance for those working in the social housing sector to help ensure the safety of our customers which remains the number one priority for YHG.”