Save, make, understand money

Household Bills

Government launches crackdown on social housing landlords

Government launches crackdown on social housing landlords
Matt Browning
Written By:
Matt Browning

The Government has announced it has set new rules for social housing landlords to improve the state of social housing in the UK.

Landlords will now be “routinely inspected and held to account”, according to the Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities (DLHC). This is so residents receive the best quality of home and services as possible.

Any property owners who fail the fresh regulations will face a new set of sanctions, including a fine (amount unlimited) or a change of management enforced.

The rules now require landlords to:

  • Have an accurate record of the condition of every home, based on checks of properties so landlords can understand any problems and take action
  • Set clear timelines for the completion of repairs, maintenance and planned improvements, communicating them clearly to tenants
  • Give tenants opportunities to influence and scrutinise their landlords’ services, such as through meetings with tenant organisations
  • Provide tenants with information about their rights and how to make complaints
  • Publish the new tenant satisfaction measures to make it clear how tenants feel their landlord is performing and hold them to account

‘Significant milestone’ to correct previous errors

The DLHC noted this reflects the most significant change to social housing in a decade, following the Social Housing (Regulation) Act.

Baroness Scott, social housing minister, said: “Everyone deserves a decent home and to be treated with fairness and respect.

“That’s why we are taking strong action to improve the quality of social housing and the services landlords provide. If landlords fail their residents, there will be consequences.

“This is a significant milestone in our work to put right some of the issues laid bare by the devastating Grenfell Tower tragedy, and I have huge admiration for the bereaved families, survivors and community who have campaigned tirelessly for improvements in the sector.”

Legislation could put an end to ‘evaded accountability’

Meanwhile, Kwajo Tweneboa, a campaigner for social housing, says the changes “will now mean a more proactive stance in scrutinising providers”.

Tweneboa said: “For a long time, social housing providers have evaded accountability for providing substandard housing to many across the country.

“As someone who has experienced this first-hand, I hope this change in regulation will be enforced with maximum effect and put an end to the misery so many are going through.

“The recognition that a safe and decent home is a necessity to the lives of us all and isn’t exclusive to those living outside of social housing should, I hope, mean a new era for many millions across the UK”, Tweneboa added.

Further, if you are a social housing tenant and dissatisfied with the service your landlord provides, you can complain to the Housing Ombudsman Service.

Housing Ombudsman contact details:

  • Complaint form: To be completed online
  • Email: info@housing-ombudsman.org.uk
  • Phone: 0300 111 3000
  • Write to:
    Housing Ombudsman Service
    PO Box 152
    L33 7WQ