Social Housing Regulation Bill

Adil Hussain
Adil Hussain

Published: December 14th, 2022

7 min read

Social housing tenants stand to benefit from better quality housing and have their complaints dealt with quicker under the government measures to increase inspections and drive-up competency amongst staff.

The Social Housing Regulation Bill (the Bill) was introduced into Parliament earlier this year. The Bill aims to deliver the proposals set out in the Social Housing White Paper by introducing a number of measures to give tenants greater powers, improve access to swift and fair redress, and enhance the powers of the Regulator of Social Housing (the Regulator). If passed, the measures will:

  • Enable the regulator to intervene with landlords who are preforming poorly on consumer issues guarantee timely action where the regulator has concerns about the decency of a home.
  • Enable the regulator to inspect landlords and arrange emergency repairs to ensure tenants are provided with good quality accommodation.
  • Provide tenants with greater transparency about their landlords' performance by introducing a new set of Tenant Satisfaction Measures.
  • Enable tenants to access information related to the management of social housing.
  • Add safety to the Regulator's objectives and require registered providers to appoint a health and safety lead.
  • Require the Housing Ombudsman and the Regulator to cooperate to provide better protection for tenants.

Following a debate last month, the following amendments to the Bill were agreed by the Lords:

  • The creation legally binding targets on reducing energy demand for social housing properties, for example, by attaining a minimum EPC C rating by 2030.
  • Enabling the Regulator to set standards for registered providers regarding the competence and conduct of individuals involved in the provision of services in connection with the management of social housing; and
  • A requirement for the Regulator to formulate a plan for the inspections of registered providers of social housing.

The Bill will continue to be shaped is progresses through parliament, we anticipate further amendments to those which are set out above. The full implications of any amendments or in fact the implicates of the Bill as a whole will only become clear once the Regulator has had the opportunity to consider them.

What this Bill means for Registered Providers is that they will be required to work more closely with tenants in a transparent manner, tenants will have greater right to obtain information from landlords. Tenants will also be given the opportunity to rate the services provided by landlords. Failing social housing providers will be subject to unlimited fines. Social landlords will be subject to Ofsted-style inspections.

Forbes Solicitors welcome the aims of the Bill and provides a range of services to assist Registered providers in anticipation for the Social Housing Regulation Bill.

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