Local authorities warned by the Regulator about Consumer Standard breaches

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Local authorities warned by the Regulator about Consumer Standard breaches

The Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) has written to every housing stock-owning local authority, reminding them of the obligations placed upon them by the Consumer Standards, specifically identifying the need for an increased focus on health and safety.

The letter made reference to the earlier correspondence between the Regulator and providers in 2018 following the Grenfell Tower fire, reminding them of their obligations for tenant safety under the Consumer Standards. However since this earlier letter, two local authorities have been issued with a regulatory notice due to an incident that breached the Home Standard (an element of the Consumer Standards).

In the letter, Fiona Macgregor, Chief Executive of the RSH, noted that local authorities must be aware that “while the Regulators Governance and Financial Viability and Value for Money standards do not apply to local authorities, the consumer standards do apply”.

The letter referred to a need for specific focus on health and safety compliance due to two recent cases where a local authority has been found to be in breach of the Home Standard, and had “failed to meet statutory health and safety requirements across a range of areas”. Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council was issued with a regulatory notice in May 2019, whilst Arun District Council were found to be in breach of the Consumer Standards in August 2018.

The Regulator stated the importance that “Boards and councillors ensure that they have proper oversight of all health and safety issues (including gas safety, fire safety, asbestos and legionella)”. As specialist housing consultants who have worked with over 100 organisations within the social housing sector, we know that one of the most common compliance pitfalls in organisations is the lack of strategic oversight of compliance, with providers often not having the correct systems in place to give Boards the required assurance. Contact one of our consultants now to find out how we can help your organisation to be certain of the requirements placed upon them by the Regulator of Social Housing.

To read the letter, click here.

 

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