Evolution or revolution? What new consumer standards mean for RPs

Row of houses

The Regulator of Social Housing’s revised consumer standards and proactive approach come into effect on 1 April. Olivia Barber finds out what the changes will mean for the sector

Twelve years after David Cameron’s coalition government reduced the social housing regulator’s scope to intervene on consumer issues, the tide is now turning back towards proactive regulation as a result of the Social Housing (Regulation) Act.

From April 1, the “serious detriment” test, which restricted regulatory intervention unless there was evidence or risk of significant harm to tenants, will be consigned to the dustbin.

Instead, the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) will be able to actively assess providers’ compliance against four revised consumer standards, armed with increased enforcement tools. The change means housing inspections will be carried out by a government body for the first time in more than a decade.

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