The long awaited social housing white paper—The Charter for Social Housing Residents—(“the Charter”) was published yesterday (17 November 2020). This white paper sets out reforms under seven key chapters which all aim to improve services to tenants and give them a stronger voice. We summarise the first chapter, and what this means for landlords below.

Chapter 1: To be safe in your home

  • Legislation to strengthen the Regulator of Social Housing’s consumer regulation objectives to explicitly include safety.
  • Legislation to require social landlords to identify a nominated person responsible for complying with their health and safety requirements.
  • Expectations that the Regulator of Social Housing will prepare a Memorandum of Understanding with the Health and Safety Executive to ensure effective sharing of information with the Building Safety Regulator.
  • Launch of a consultation on mandating smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in social housing.
  • Consultation on measures to ensure that social housing residents are protected from harm caused by poor electrical safety.
  • Building on the work of the Social Sector (Building Safety) Engagement Best Practice Group, supporting the development of statutory and good practice guidance on engaging residents in all tenures on safety issues.

In addition to the above measures, the Building Safety Bill will introduce a requirement for an ‘accountable person’ for each higher risk building to produce and implement a resident engagement strategy to promote the participation of tenants and leaseholders in decisions that are made about building safety risks in their building.

Other highlights from the white paper

We’ve taken a look at the various proposals under the seven chapters, and have highlighted some particular areas of interest for landlords, which are available below:

Register for our upcoming webinar

We wait with interest for the new consumer standards, but in the meantime we will be holding a webinar to discuss the white paper and what it means for registered providers on 1 December 2020. Learn more and register here.