The Regulator of Social Housing has finalised the new Tenant Satisfaction Measures (TSMs) following a consultation earlier this year.
From 1 April 2023, all social housing providers will need to start collecting data for tenant satisfaction measures on areas such as repairs, safety checks and complaints.
This follows a consultation period completed earlier this year where residents and social landlords provided over 1000 responses on proposed measures across the five Social Housing White Paper themes including repair, building safety and complaint handling. The Regulator has now amended the initial measures to come up with a definitive list of what landlords will have to collect.
The measures are intended to enable residents to scrutinise their landlord and hold them to account and provide a source of intelligence to the Regulator on whether landlords are meeting the regulatory standards. TSMs will be used alongside other tools to gain assurance from social housing providers.
In response to the consultation, the Regulator has published its Decision Statement setting out the final Tenant Satisfaction Measures Standard and accompanying requirements. This includes the definitive list of what information landlords will need to collect from 1 April next year. TSMs will be used alongside other tools to scrutinise landlords across a range of areas and gain assurance from social housing providers
Summary of changes
Following feedback received from respondents, the Regulator made changes to a small number of TSMs including improvements to the wording of survey questions to ensure TSM definitions are clear. Some technical and tenant survey requirements have also been refined to increase transparency on how social housing providers collect and calculate TSM data.
The main TSMs changes include:
- An amendment to the TSM regarding whether a home is well-maintained and safe establishing two individual metrics on each of the themes.
- An addition of a filter survey question to determine whether a tenant has made a complaint before asking about satisfaction with the landlord’s approach to handling complaints. This has led to the withdrawal of the tenant’s knowledge TSM on how to make a complaint.
- The Regulator also clarified the definition of several TSMs, including the Housing Ombudsman's Complaint Handling Code timescales, complaints relative to the size of the landlord, and safety checks. The definition of repairs has been amended to include emergency as well as non-emergency repairs.
- The definition of anti-social behaviour (ASB) cases was amended to exclude domestic abuse to reflect government guidance. The Regulator will consider further how to monitor compliance with regulatory requirements concerning domestic abuse.
The Regulator has retained some aspects of its initial proposal but added some amendments. For example, social landlords maintain flexibility over their choice of survey collection methods but minor changes have been made in requirements for publication to increase transparency.
We welcomed the proposals overall based on feedback from members and supported the principles and the intent behind the measures. We believe the measures cover important issues for residents and will aid the Regulator in its work on consumer standards.
We have set out our concerns about some of the measures proposed, for example in relation to antisocial behaviour and making a positive contribution to the neighbourhood, and how the TSMs would work in some settings, particularly short-term supported housing and offered alternative suggestions.
Next steps for NHF members
We know some members will be concerned about some measures being used in a way that doesn't reflect the context they operate in. The Regulator has acknowledged that care will need to be taken in interpreting the results of some measures and says that its regulatory view of providers' performance will be based on a range of sources of assurance, not the TSM data alone.
We will work with NHF members to understand the final measures and requirements in preparation for the implementation of the TSMs from April 2023.
For further discussions on the TSMs, please contact Catherine.Ryder@housing.org.uk