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Social Housing Speed Read – RSH reveals metrics for the tenant satisfaction measures to assess landlord performance

On 9th December 2021 the Regulator on Social Housing ("RSH"), as part of their open consultation on the tenant satisfaction measures (TSMs) promised by the Social Housing White Paper, unveiled metrics intended to be used to assess tenant satisfaction.

22 metrics are being suggested, which have been drafted to cover the five key areas of focus of the Social Housing White Paper, namely:

  • To keep properties in good repair.
  • To ensure building safety.
  • To ensure complaints are handled effectively.
  • To ensure respectful and useful tenant engagement.
  • To ensure responsible management.

Consequently, these metrics assess features such as the number of complaints made relative to the size of the landlord, the number and types of safety checks undertaken by the landlord, and the overall satisfaction of the tenants. The full list of the measures can be found on the official Government Consultation page here.

These metrics, according to RSH, are intended to “provide data about social housing landlords’ performance and the quality of their services.” Accordingly, out of the 22 measures, 12 are to be assessed by tenants via an annual survey, whilst the remaining 10 are to be directly responded to by landlords themselves.

These proposals have also been coupled with proposed Consumer Standards, as published by RSH, which would require providers with over 1000 homes to publish their findings on tenant satisfaction annually, and to submit this information directly to RSH.

Comparatively, landlords with less than 1000 properties would not be required to submit this information to RSH, but would still have to make their findings available to their tenants. There are also further alternative proposals for these smaller providers, such as only requiring them to conduct perception surveys every 2 years rather than annually or provide different annual reporting periods, in an attempt to make such requirements less burdensome upon them.

On the rationale of these measures Fiona MacGregor, the chief executive of RSH, has said:

“Our proposed tenant satisfaction measures aim to give clear and comparable data about the quality of services tenants in social housing receive. We want them to be a valuable source of information for tenants, local communities and landlords, as well as forming part of the wider picture that informs our consumer regulation. By consulting now, we can take into account the views of tenants, landlords and other stakeholders to refine the final measures and also allow time for local authorities, housing associations and other social housing providers to prepare for their implementation.”

The consultation is due to close on 3 March 2022, with RSH expecting to be able to provide a decision from the consultation in the following summer, and implement any agreed measures by April 2023.

RSH’s statement following the consultation will be of great importance to the social housing sector as it will shape organisational governance in relation to consumer standards and tenant satisfaction.

If you would like any more information, or would like advice as to how the proposed changes may affect your organisation, please contact Simon Thirtle or a member of our Housing Management Team.

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

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