Lessons From the Consumer Regulator Review 2022
The most recent Consumer Regulator Review published in July 2022 highlights a number of lessons for social housing providers. One of the main ones is being wary of making assumptions about your compliance status. Another is the need to step up the level of resident engagement ready for proactive consumer standards regulation.
In some cases where properties had fallen short of the Decent Homes Standards providers had been unaware of potential problems before they became real ones. In a few cases systemic failures were uncovered.
No Room For Complacency
Failure to meet consumer standards wasn’t limited to any particular size, type or location of provider. Sometimes they happened in providers that were otherwise well run.
These issues prompted the regulator to comment:
‘…it is critical that boards, councillors and management teams are vigilant about their compliance, and continue to seek robust assurance they are meeting the consumer standards… if you are a leader or governing body – could this happen in your organisation? Are you confident in your assurance? Do you have an organisational culture that ensures critical issues aren’t overlooked and are dealt with when they emerge?’
Systems and Processes
The aim should be to have comprehensive and up-to-date stock condition data and real time recording of compliance, otherwise there’s a clear risk of important issues being missed. It’s all about having robust systems and processes so you can be 100% confident that you provide good quality, safe and well managed accommodation for all residents, all of the time.
Talking with Residents
Resident engagement will have an even higher profile in the next few years. Osborne has an excellent record of effective engagement across all of our property services partnerships. Even so, we’re actively reviewing and enhancing processes as part of our continuous improvement ethos.
The Regulator highlighted how the new consumer standards and the regulatory process are taking shape. The plan is for data collection to support the Tenant Satisfaction Measures from April next year. So now’s probably a good time to review the effectiveness of resident engagement.