Consultation on tenant rights and complaints

23 February 2024

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has consulted on the directions to the Regulator of Social Housing on tenant rights and complaints.

At the NHF, we have worked with our members to submit a response to this consultation, to make sure changes ushered in by the Social Housing Regulation Act work for the social housing sector.

Housing associations are committed to providing safe, quality homes for all residents. That’s why we welcome this consultation on directions that will inform changes made to the Regulator’s consumer standards for housing associations.

A summary of our response 

We welcomed this consultation’s aim to require housing associations to make sure their residents know how to make a complaint. We support the rights of residents to have information about their complaints, and the process.

However, we believe further details concerning the information housing providers are required to provide tenants regarding their rights will ensure a consistent approach is applied across the sector.

We were also looking for more clarity on the information landlords can give to residents, and more guidance on how to make sure it is accessible.

We also believe the costs estimated in the consultation have been underestimated, and it will cost more for housing associations to meet the requirements.

DLUHC’s response 

DLUHC published its response to this consultation in January 2024, and we are pleased they have taken on board our concerns, and those of the sector. DLUHC’s response included: 

  • The acknowledgement that a number of landlords provide their residents with information, and the new requirements will ensure a consistent approach. 
  • The majority of respondents agreed with the requirements to provide residents with information relating to complaints, tenants’ rights and regulatory requirements. 
  • A provision to give flexibility to provide residents with information through existing practices, as the direction does not say exactly how information should be provided. 
  • More clarity on the provision of information on tenants’ rights and regulatory requirements. Changes suggest providers should not necessarily have to prepare information at an individual level. 
  • Clarification on the term ‘reasonable adjustments’ to mean the requirements under the Equality Act 2010. This confirms that new requirements will need specified information to be provided to residents of social housing. 
  • An acceptance of the concerns raised about the costs and a commitment to update estimates of staff and legal costs using the 2023 ASHE data. 

We look forward to working with DLUHC this year to make sure we achieve the aims of the proposed requirements, while making sure all housing associations can meet them.   

If you have any questions about our response, or would like to tell us your feedback, please don’t hesitate to contact us using the contact details below.