Poor governance leads to failed consumer standards compliance

Regulator finds 'clear link' between poor governance and consumer standards compliance

The Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) has found “a clear link between weak governance and ability to demonstrate compliance with the consumer standards” in its latest review of the standards.

The report includes case studies which demonstrate how RSH responded to consumer regulation referrals during 2020-21 and offer learning points for registered providers.

The report showed that:

·      organisations with good quality records and data about their properties and tenants were better able to manage risks to help ensure tenant safety

·      landlords tried various ways to engage with their tenants, including the most vulnerable, and need to continue ensuring that tenant voices are heard

·      Boards and Councillors who used the insight and learning from complaints to review their operations were more likely to avoid potentially system-wide failings, which could lead to non-compliance with consumer standards.

The RSH said it is “crucial” that governance is effective to provide assurance to the registered provider that it is meeting the consumer standards and keeping its tenants safe, “even when it is not delivering all the services itself and has arrangements with third-party managing agents or contractors”.

They say this has been a regular finding from the increased engagement by RSH with registered providers operating a lease-based model.

In line with 2019-20, most of the referrals received were from individual tenants followed by self-referrals from registered providers including local authorities.

Fiona MacGregor, RSH Chief Executive, said: “We continue to urge sector landlords to consider the steps they can take now to ensure their services and engagement with tenants meet existing requirements and to prepare now to meet the direction of travel signalled in the Social Housing White Paper.

“The issues identified in the consumer regulation review should be used by all registered providers to ensure that they meet their responsibilities and proactively look to improve the services they provide to tenants.”

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