In the past 20 years there has been a significant increase in regulation, legislation and approved codes of practice which has placed significant safety and maintenance obligations on Registered Providers. Many of these obligations remain ambiguous and it is therefore imperative that the Board and the executive management team are able to agree and sign off a set of clear policy principles to be applied to each area of property compliance.
In order to allow our clients to achieve this we recommend producing and implementing a robust Property Compliance Strategy which outlines a number of strategic criteria, the inclusion of which is imperative for demonstrating appropriate oversight and ownership of property compliance. This includes the policy principles adopted by the organisation, their statutory obligations across each compliance service area, and the testing and inspection regimes which will be used to ensure and evidence compliance.
If it is not already in place, or deemed unfit for purpose then, supporting documentation is also produced to strengthen the completeness of the organisation’s approach including relevant Board approved policies, process maps and procedure documents for each of the “big five” areas of compliance (fire, electrical safety, gas, water hygiene and asbestos) . This will also be extended to include any other area of compliance that is relevant to your organisation, such as lifts, play area safety, electric gates and tree management etc.
It is essential that Registered Providers recognise the importance of having a clear plan to deliver its compliance obligations and we recommend that a Property Compliance Strategy document is used in order to demonstrate this.
What is a Property Compliance Strategy?
It is recommended that all Registered Providers make property compliance a strategic priority, and it is important that this starts with Board assurance. The reasoning behind this is that achieving compliance should lead to, and ensure, the safety of tenants by ensuring the relevant legislation, regulation and approved codes of practice are clearly set out by Board. Pennington Choices Compliance Strategy document will outline how your organisation will approach this task, what action will be taken to ensure obligations are met, and how performance will be measured in a format which is accessible, understandable, and definitive.
Why do we recommend a Property Compliance Strategy?
The safety and maintenance obligations placed upon Registered Providers have significantly increased over the past 20 years and we frequently find that providers do not prioritise compliance to the extent required. Some providers focus entirely on the “big five” of gas, electric, fire, asbestos, and water hygiene at the detriment of the remaining compliance areas, whilst others have no organisationally relevant, and Board approved, compliance strategy in place.
Having completed over 100 compliance reviews for housing providers across the country, we have only visited a handful of organisations with sufficient processes and procedures already in place to evidence a high level of assurance with regards to property compliance. Our Property Compliance Strategy will provide you with clarity on the legislation, regulation and codes of practice that you need to demonstrate compliance with, and the subsequent procedures needed to address and evidence compliance should you come under regulatory scrutiny. The strategy document will be tailored to suit the needs of your organisation, and with the support and input of our leading property compliance consultants, will provide you with the assurance you need.
If you are interested in strengthening your approach to property compliance, or want assurance that you are addressing all of the common pitfalls that are often evident, contact Sarah Davies our Head of Consultancy, to find out more.Back to blog