Regulatory standards

Economic and consumer standards that registered providers of social housing must comply with.

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’.

Economic standards

The Regulator of Social Housing proactively seeks assurance from providers that they are meeting its economic standards. These apply to all registered providers except for local authorities because the regulator has no power to set economic standards for local authorities (except rents).

The 3 economic standards are:

Consumer standards

The Regulator of Social Housing also sets consumer standards and its role is to intervene where failure to meet the standards has caused, or could have caused, serious harm to tenants. These apply to all registered providers including local authorities (note exclusions below).

The 4 consumer standards are:


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 Government standard on rents for social housing including intermediate rent
  • The Tenancy Standard does not apply to intermediate rent nor to less than 100% owned low-cost home ownership.

Our approach

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.

The regulatory standards are an element of the Regulatory framework for social housing in England.

Published 1 April 2015
Last updated 1 April 2020 + show all updates
  1. Changes made for new Rents standard from 1 April 2020

  2. Rent Standard from 1 April 2020 added alongside link to guidance on exemption and rent increase limits.

  3. Updated layout for regulatory standards page for clarity.

  4. First published.