Letter to landlords - information for preparing Annual Assurance Statement due to be submitted to us by 31 October 2022
This letter gives you information to support you when preparing the Annual Assurance Statement (AAS) due to be submitted to us by 31 October 2022.
In August 2020 we published temporary advisory guidance to assist landlords to adapt their approach to the submission of the AAS to reflect the impact of the pandemic. With the ending of all COVID restrictions, we have now removed this supplementary guidance. This letter gives advice about the preparation of the AAS, and you should also refer to our Annual Assurance Statement statutory guidance.
We know you are continuing to work to recover from the impact of the pandemic and fully restore services and programmes of work. We appreciate that the pandemic may therefore continue to impact on compliance with regulatory requirements. You should again identify in this year’s AAS any remaining non-compliance with regulatory requirements that is directly due to the pandemic and distinguish this from non-compliance for other reasons. You can also set out in the AAS further information about any non-compliance which is not directly attributable to the pandemic, but has been exacerbated by it.
We have said previously that we want to understand and to be able to acknowledge where external factors affect a landlord’s ability to fully comply with regulatory requirements. We know that as well as the pandemic there are other factors which may impact on your compliance and we would encourage you to highlight any reasons for non-compliance in your AAS.
We have taken account of this when we assess each landlord’s performance and risk and will continue to do so where appropriate.
In the AAS submitted in 2021 we asked social landlords to provide us with assurance in their AAS that they had appropriate plans to implement an effective approach to the collection of equalities information and that they had started to consider how they can adopt a human rights approach in their work.
Sector guidance on equalities data collection Collecting equality information: National guidance for Scottish social landlords was published on 19 August 2021 and last updated on 27 June 2022. In the AAS to be submitted this year we ask you to provide us with assurance that you have, or are in the process of implementing an effective approach to the collection of equalities information and are considering how you can adopt a human rights approach in your work.
In January 2022, as part of our annual risk assessment, we asked landlords to complete a short survey to give us some additional, more detailed information about how they gain assurance that they comply with tenant and resident safety requirements. Following this, the SFHA has published an update to its Self Assurance Toolkit which you may also want to consider when preparing your AAS.
I hope you find this information helpful. If you have any questions about your AAS, please contact your Engagement Plan lead.