Negligent social landlords to be exposed

Failing landlords to be named and shamed under new government proposals to strengthen residents’ rights and improve standards
14 April 2022 , Steve Smethurst

Names will be published on governments’ social media channels

The government has announced it will ‘name and shame’ failing social-housing providers as part of reforms to give residents a stronger voice and drive up standards. The move was announced on 29th March, 2022 by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

The names of social landlords will be published on the government’s social media channels if they are found to have breached the Regulator’s consumer standards or where the Housing Ombudsman has made its most serious finding – severe maladministration – against them.

A ‘Resident Panel’ will also be created. This will allow tenants who live in social housing to be heard directly by government. Around 250 social tenants from across England will be invited to share their experiences and offer their thoughts on how to improve the quality of social housing. The Panel will allow residents to scrutinise and influence measures to strengthen the Decent Homes Standard, training and qualification for staff, a new Access to Information Scheme and other planned reforms.

“If our reforms are going to take root, we need to go far deeper than simply addressing the visible symptoms of issues in the sector. An infusion of new ideas from tenants will help us to do that.”

Minister for Social Housing, Eddies Hughes MP told Inside Housing: “The panel will have a hotline into government and will be empowered to not only share their experiences, but also to shape our efforts to reform the sector.

“If our reforms are going to take root, we need to go far deeper than simply addressing the visible symptoms of issues in the sector. An infusion of new ideas from tenants will help us to do that. This will be complemented by new clauses for our social housing laws.”

In terms of legislation, the Government said it plans to introduce greater enforcement powers to tackle failing landlords. This is intended to ‘drive a significant change in landlord behaviour’ to focus on the needs of their tenants and ensure landlords are held to account for their performance. 

The reforms were orginally set out in the Social Housing White Paper, and signal a major change in the way social landlords are regulated and held to account for the homes and services they deliver.

Minister Hughes added: “Everyone in this country deserves to live in a safe and decent home. It is unacceptable that anyone should have mould covering their walls, risk slipping on a wet floor or have water dripping from the ceiling.

“This package will help to deliver on our commitment in the Levelling Up White Paper to halve the number of non-decent rented homes by 2030.”

 

Image credit: Shutterstock

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