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RSH statements on coronavirus (COVID-19)

The regulator's announcements in response to the outbreak will be updated on this page.

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Update 30 March 2020:

Further to our letter to registered providers last week, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has issued guidance for landlords and tenants including:

Update 26 March 2020:

The Coronavirus outbreak is causing very significant operational pressures for social housing providers. We are responding to this unprecedented situation by making changes to our regulatory approach, We are also setting out expectations for providers about contacting us if they are struggling to meet the challenges presented by Coronavirus and there is a resulting threat to tenant safety or the provider’s financial viability. This is intended both to support providers in focussing on front-line operations and to identify where there may be challenges that the sector or individual providers need regulatory support to meet.

Across the sector, the shared priority is maintaining tenant safety. This includes addressing emergency and urgent repairs and statutory compliance with health and safety requirements.

Providers should also:

  • manage risks to staff safety and follow wider guidance on limiting the spread of coronavirus
  • tell us promptly about material issues that relate to non-compliance or potential non-compliance with the regulatory standards focussing on health and safety, significant service delivery risks to vulnerable tenants, and financial viability.

In particular, they should tell us if they:

  • either as a result of access issues, or a shortage of staff, are unable to deliver a minimum service to tenants; experience a shortage of staff which means that safe levels of staffing cannot be maintained in care, supported or vulnerable people’s accommodation; or
  • identify danger to tenants that cannot be rectified within reasonable timescales.

Providers must also continue to tell us about any viability issues they face.

To reduce the regulatory burden and refocus our regulation on the key risks at this time, we will:

  • be proportionate and take full account of the circumstances when responding to compliance issues
  • collect some information from providers about risks affecting tenant safety.
  • extend our pause of In-Depth Assessments for the time being
  • postpone submission deadlines for the Statistical Data Return, Local Authority Data Return and Financial Forecast Return
  • continue to collect the Quarterly Survey to allow us to monitor sales, liquidity and cashflow pressures
  • ask some providers who face higher risks to their finances to share their own cashflow monitoring information
  • increase our engagement with providers and other stakeholders.

Full details are in our letter to providers.

Updated contact information – 19 March 2020:

See the Contact us section on our homepage for our interim correspondence arrangements. You can continue to contact us by calling: 0300 124 5225 or emailing enquiries@rsh.gov.uk.

Statement updated 17 March 2020:

Following the Government extending the measures to limit the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) we have updated our approach to proactive regulatory engagement with registered providers.

We have paused our programme of In-Depth Assessments of registered providers. This means that for the time being we are not starting any new IDAs. For those IDAs that are underway we are in contact with providers to either complete the IDA online or to defer. We will keep the position under review.

Registered providers are reminded that they are expected to communicate in a timely manner with the regulator on material issues that relate to non-compliance or potential non-compliance with the regulatory standards. As ever, our regulatory approach remains proportionate and we will take account of the circumstances, including those arising from the impact of coronavirus, in considering our response to non-compliance or potential non-compliance with the standards.

Statement issued 6 March 2020:

We expect all registered providers to prepare for the potential impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on residents, staff, contractors and suppliers. In doing so, ensure that you are following the latest advice and guidance from the Government and Public Health England available at gov.uk/coronavirus.

The Regulator of Social Housing is operating as normal, including all of our planned and reactive regulatory engagement, and will continue to do so unless Government guidance changes and means that we need to modify our business operations.

Registered providers are reminded that they are expected to communicate in a timely manner with the regulator on material issues that relate to non-compliance or potential non-compliance with the regulatory standards. As ever, our regulatory approach remains proportionate and we will take account of the circumstances, including those arising from the impact of coronavirus, in considering our response to non-compliance or potential non-compliance with the standards.

Published 6 March 2020
Last updated 30 March 2020 + show all updates
  1. Update on recently published MHCLG guidance.

  2. Statement update about letter to registered providers.

  3. Update on RSH offices and avoiding postal correspondecne, where possible,

  4. Update issued to statement on Coronavirus (COVID-19).

  5. Further text added to RSH's statement on Coronavirus.

  6. First published.