Letter to landlords - Tenant and Resident Safety Survey
Update on Tenant and Resident Safety Survey
I am following up on our proposals to carry out a further survey of all social landlords on tenant and resident safety.
As you are aware, we carried out a survey of all landlords around this time last year as part of our annual risk assessment to help us address gaps in the information and assurance that we get routinely from landlords on this very important issue.
Last year’s survey provided us with valuable assurance about how landlords satisfied themselves their systems, policies and procedures and working practices ensured compliance with health and safety requirements. We provided more information on the outcomes from this in the Summary Outcomes document that we published at the end of March 2022 following the conclusion of our annual risk assessment.
We were considering carrying out this survey again this year as part of our annual risk assessment, again to help us address gaps in the information that we currently routinely receive from landlords. To reflect feedback we had from the sector last year around the timing of the survey, we had hoped to be able to carry out the survey before Christmas. However, our discussions on the scope of the survey with some stakeholders have meant that this has not been possible.
We have therefore considered our position on this further and decided not to carry out the survey this year. Tenant and resident safety however remains a critical priority for us so we intend to take forward a number of strands of work both in the short and longer term to ensure that we are able to get the appropriate assurances that we need from landlords on this issue:
We will contact individual landlords as part of this year’s annual risk assessment where we have identified gaps in the assurance we need and we will seek additional information from these organisations where appropriate. For example, in the last ARC return, we asked landlords to tell us in the comments box if they are not complying with EICR regulations and to tell us what their plans were to address this. A number of landlords told us that they were not compliant but did not provide the detail that we had asked for so we will follow this up.
- We are planning to recommence our programme of Annual Assurance Statement visits during 2023/24 and as a key focus of these visits we will consider how governing bodies have assured themselves about tenant and resident safety. We will publish a lessons learned report on these visits which will hopefully share any good practice we find with all landlords on this issue.
- You will be aware that we wrote to landlords before Christmas on the issue of mould and dampness, as previously advised if you identify any concerns with your current systems please contact your lead regulator to discuss how you will
plan to make necessary improvements.*
- We will ask all landlords to make an explicit statement in their Annual Assurance Statements that should be submitted to us by 31 October 2023 on their compliance with their obligations in relation to tenant and resident safety. We will provide advice to landlords on the information that should be submitted in the Annual Assurance Statement and will also share this with yourselves as well.
- In the 2022/23 ARC form due to be submitted to us by 31st May 2023, we will make the Housing Quality and Maintenance comment field mandatory. This means we will expect landlords to provide detailed comments on their performance. We are particularly interested in any non-compliance with electrical, gas and fire safety and plans to address this. We will update the technical guidance to reflect the requirements.
- We are actively considering how we can collect relevant tenant and resident safety information through the ARC return going forward and will consider this as part of our forthcoming review of the Regulatory Framework. Again, we will discuss this with you.
In the meantime, if you want to discuss any of this, please do not hesitate to contact
Assistant Director of Regulation
Following feedback we have clarified our expectations around damp and mould as of 02/02/2023.