Regulatory standards that registered providers of social housing must meet.
Regulatory standards contain specific expectations and the outcomes that providers are expected to achieve. Providers’ boards and local authority councillors who govern service delivery are responsible for meeting the relevant standards and determining how this is done.
The standards are classified as either ‘economic’ or ‘consumer’.
The Regulator of Social Housing proactively seeks assurance from providers that they are meeting the 3 economic standards, which are:
- Governance and Financial Viability Standard - amplified by a Code of Practice
- Value for Money Standard - with associated Code of Practice
- Rent Standard
The economic standards apply to all registered providers except for local authorities because the regulator has no power to set economic standards for local authorities (note exclusions below).
The Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016 (the Act) introduces rules around the levels of rents that can be charged by registered providers of social housing during the period from 2016 to 2017, to 2020 to 2021. For the period that the rent under a tenancy of a registered provider’s social housing is to be governed by the Act, the rent for that tenancy is not covered by the Rent Standard. Providers are expected to consult the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016 and the Social Housing Rents (Exceptions and Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2016 to establish how the rules apply to their stock, taking legal advice if they consider it necessary.
These apply to all registered providers including local authorities (note exclusions below). The Regulator of Social Housing’s role is to set the consumer standards and to intervene where failure to meet the standards has caused, or could have caused, serious harm to tenants. The 4 consumer standards are:
- Home Standard
- Tenancy Standard
- Neighbourhood and Community Standard
- Tenant Involvement and Empowerment Standard
The consumer standards and the Rent Standard do not apply to all types of housing. The following exclusions should be noted:
- the Rent Standard and the consumer standards do not apply to 100% owned Low Cost Home Ownership
- the Rent Standard does not apply to less than 100% owned Low Cost Home Ownership, nor to certain types of housing detailed in the Rent Standard Guidance including intermediate rent
- the Tenancy Standard does not apply to intermediate rent nor to less than 100% owned Low Cost Home Ownership
Guidance on the approach the regulator takes to assessing registered providers’ compliance with the regulatory standards is set out in Regulating the standards.
Details of our approach where there are issues of non-compliance with the regulatory standards can be found in Guidance on the regulator’s approach to intervention, enforcement and use of powers.
Our annual Consumer Regulation Reviews explain more about the regulator’s approach to consumer regulation and include case studies and lessons learned.