Thanks to Cllr Trefor Hogg for much of the background material on this post. It’s well worth subscribing to his newsletter here.

He describes entrenched attitides within the dominant local social housing provider, Accent Housing, that don’t treat social housing tenants with the respect they deserve or give them the service that they deserve.

Michael Gove has now enacted legislation to toughen up regulation for such social housing providers, the Social Housing (Regulation) Act 2023.

This new law creates a new, proactive approach to regulating social housing landlords on consumer issues such as safety, transparency, standards and conduct of staff and tenant engagement, with new enforcement powers to tackle failing landlords.

The intent of Michael’s new law is to reform the regulatory regime to drive significant change in landlord behaviour to focus on the needs of their tenants and ensure landlords are held to account for their performance.

The main objectives are

  • Create a new, proactive consumer regulation regime;
  • Improve the monitoring of providers fnancial stability so they tenants are not exposed to a landlord suddenly going bust;
  • Strenthen the Regulator of Social Housing by giving it new enforcement powers to intervene, to encourage landlords maintain standards, avoid the threat of enforcement action, and give the regulator teeth to deal with non-compliance with the standards.
  • Strenghen the powers of the Housing Ombudsman so requirements can be set for social landlords to address hazards such as damp and mould within a fixed time period.

The rules around rented housing have changed and now Landlords are required to measure Tenant Satisfaction, publish the results and report on it to the Regulator of Social Housing and the Housing Ombudsman Service.

The Housing Ombudsman’s Code will become statutory from 1st April 2024, providing a single, robust set of standards for complaints procedures.  For the first time, this means landlords such as Accent Housing will need to submit a self-assessment annually to the Ombudsman at the same time as their Tenant Satisfaction Measures (TSMs).

For landlords with over 1,000 homes including Accent Housing this will commence on the 30th June 2024. Those with under 1,000 homes will submit either 12 weeks after their financial year-end or the date of publication of TSMs on their website.  The self-assessment must also be published on their websites so that residents are able to access it easily.


Stuart Black, February 2024