16 February, 2015
Last week the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) have issued a regulatory notice against a social landlord for failing to carry out urgent and emergency repairs on time.
In a regulatory notice issued against Circle Anglia Limited, the HCA say the landlord breached the home standard, causing the potential for serious harm to their tenants. This is the first time a landlord has breached the 'serious detriment' threshold for HCA intervention on consumer regulation for having a poor repairs service as most previous regulatory notices have been in respect of gas safety.
The notice states that the HCA had received reports from both tenants and others regarding the landlord's repairs service. In particular, the notice refers to the HCA being informed of concerns about the landlord's repairs performance over the last year in one London Borough. The HCA was informed that the local authority in question had served a significant and unusually high number of statutory notices on the landlord which related to serious issues of disrepair. The HCA was informed that the local authority no longer had confidence in the landlord's ability to keep its promises to carry out works effectively. Additionally, legal action had been threatened, and in one case had been initiated.
During an inquiry by the HCA, they discovered that in relation to the landlord's 8,000 homes in London, over a period of three months the landlord reported that less than 20% of urgent and emergency repairs were completed 'on time'. 'On time' refers to the landlord's own service standards, which include different time targets for different types of repairs. The HCA considered the failings as a potential breach of the Home Standard, and specifically the regulatory requirement to meet all applicable statutory requirements that provide for the health and safety of the occupants in their homes and the requirement to have a cost effective repairs service that responds to the needs of tenants.
As this is the first time we have a regulatory notice for a poor repairs service, social landlords will need to ensure that their repairs targets are up to speed to avoid any potential action from the HCA.
For further information please contact Bethany Paliga on 01772 220241.