Being compliant with the law, does not mean that you are keeping people safe

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Keeping People Safe

People should be safe in their own homes. This must be a top priority for all housing providers.

But what does this actually mean?

Tenant safety should be front and centre at Board and Leadership level, and embedded throughout organisational policies and processes.

This is more than just complying with legislative and regulatory obligations. Whilst clearly important, providers must look beyond and ask ‘Are we doing everything we can to keep our tenants safe?’

Legislation and Regulation

The legislation and approved codes of practice for property compliance areas (with the exception of gas safety) are ambiguous and lack clarity. Housing providers are therefore left with choices about approaches to be taken – for example, the frequency of periodic electrical inspections or the asbestos survey strategy for domestic properties.

Complying with the ‘minimum’ requirements of the legislation does not necessarily equal tenant safety. A good example is fire safety: to comply with The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 housing providers must risk assess their communal areas and complete all mandatory actions. The legislation does not specify what ‘type’ of fire risk assessment is carried out or indeed, who they should be carried out by.

Leadership and Governance

Through our work, we often see these decisions made at a technical and operational level. These are choices with significant cost and risk implications and should always be taken at a leadership level. Strategic policy principles should set the context for compliance and drive a joined-up tenant safety strategy and operating environment.

Compliance is often perceived as tough, complex, onerous and costly to manage effectively. However, it should not be. There are lots of best practice advice and guidance out there, although, the key is to keep it simple, understand risk and put in place practical solutions to mitigate those risks.

How we can help…

At Pennington Choices, we work closely with providers, to ensure that tenants and their lives are not put at risk. Our diverse and experienced consultancy team, is built-up with technical experts that work across fire safety, gas safety, electrical safety, asbestos management and water hygiene, to put in place practical solutions to any shortfalls that they may come across.

We keep things simple…

The breadth of our experience across the housing sector, means that we understand what to look for, and can work with you to support your journey to achieving full compliance and complete tenant safety.

For more information, on how we can help you, get in touch with Sarah Davies, our Head of Consultancy, here today.

 

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