23 Sep 2022
Following consultation last year, the Regulator of Social Housing (the Regulator) has now published its final suite of tenant satisfaction measures (TSMs), which landlords will need to collect from April 2023.
The level of response from the sector and tenants was very encouraging (over 1,000 responses of which over half were from tenants), and overall, we think the suite of TSMs address the key concerns of tenants and the main issues for the sector.
We welcome the Regulator’s response to the feedback that has led to some changes, and we appreciate the explanations provided as to the factors influencing their decisions. In terms of the CIH’s response to the consultation, we highlighted the following:
We said that there should be separate questions on ensuring that homes are safe and well managed, which the Regulator has done. Being well maintained goes beyond fundamental safety measures that should be a minimum expectation and legal requirement (TP04 and now TP05 as well as these have been separated).
We asked for a filter question so that people responding regarding satisfaction had recent experience of the system, which has been added.
We pointed out that the number of complaints by size is not necessarily useful; a positive learning approach to complaints can encourage greater use of the system, but that remains.
The Regulator has removed the question on tenants knowing how to complain (which we supported) as they argue this is inherent in satisfaction with complaints, noting that points we made, such as how easy it is to complain etc, would also be reflected in satisfaction.
We called for an electrical safety measure as the sector is clearly in favour of that, but this is still to be added following government consultation.
We argued for the secondary wording about neighbourhood being a good place to live but the Regulator is sticking with wording that more directly relates to the contribution the landlord makes to the neighbourhood.
We understand the focus but felt the alternative would drive greater partnership working for the benefit of local areas, and clear communication with tenants.
We called for and are pleased that there is acknowledgement of the difference to note hate crime distinctly within the reporting of number of ASB cases.
The treatment of domestic abuse cases as distinct from ASB, which we pushed for, has been recognised and the Regulator will look at how it applies that, following the powers for it to set standards on this, proposed in the Social Housing (Regulation) Bill.
We agreed with many organisations about the problem of survey collection methodology and the impact it could have on providing comparable outcomes of tenant perception, and how this will impact transparency.
We appreciate that it is a tricky balance for the Regulator in enabling flexibility balanced with comparability. However, the Regulator has retained flexibility of collection methodology, strengthening requirements for landlords to be clear about the process.
This is likely to remain a source of contention across the sector. How the information is presented and explained will require a lot of care and thought given concerns about the different results that variation in collection will cause.
We will be producing a what you need to know guide for CIH members with more detail on the measures shortly.