Why we are engaging with Linstone Housing Association Ltd (Linstone)
We are engaging with Linstone about its governance, tenant and resident safety and stock quality.
Linstone commissioned an independent review of its compliance with the Regulatory Standards of Governance and Financial Management (the Regulatory Standards) in April 2022. This followed regulatory engagement about an employment matter in 2021 and Linstone’s failure to notify us about non-compliance with its tenant and resident safety duties in 2022.
The review concluded in October 2022 that whilst compliant with Regulatory Standards, apart from its tenant and resident safety duties, Linstone required to implement significant improvements to its governance arrangements. Linstone reviewed its approach to dealing with notifiable events to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and developed a comprehensive governance improvement programme. Linstone has made good progress with implementing the programme and has engaged openly and constructively with us about this work.
In January 2022 Linstone told us that it was addressing weaknesses in its approach to tenant and resident safety. Linstone initially identified failures to comply with its duties in relation to asbestos and legionella and in June 2022 told us that it did not comply with its electric safety duties. Linstone put in place an action plan to address the areas of non-compliance and has now confirmed that it is fully compliant with its duties in relation to asbestos and will comply with its electric and legionella safety duties by April 2023.
Linstone plans to review its asset management strategy and long-term investment plans in 2023-24. It has commissioned a comprehensive review of its stock condition information as part of this process.
What Linstone must do
- send us quarterly updates on progress with its governance improvement programme;
- send us biannual updates on its asset management strategy review; and
- send us an update on progress with compliance with its tenant and resident safety duties by 30 April 2023.
What we will do
- review the quarterly updates on progress with Linstone’s governance improvement programme and biannaul updates on its asset management strategy review;
- meet with Linstone’s senior staff biannually to discuss the governance improvement programme and asset management strategy review;
- meet with Linstone’s Board to discuss the governance improvement programme and asset management strategy review;
- review Linstone’s tenant and resident safety update and engage as necessary; and
- update our published engagement plan in light of any material change to our planned engagement with Linstone.
Linstone must provide us with the following annual regulatory returns and alert us to notifiable events as appropriate:
- Annual Assurance Statement;
- audited financial statements and external auditor’s management letter;
- loan portfolio return;
- five year financial projections; and
- Annual Return on the Charter.
It should also notify us of any material changes to its Annual Assurance Statement, and any tenant and resident safety matter which has been reported to or is being investigated by the Health and Safety Executive or reports from regulatory or statutory authorities or insurance providers, relating to safety concerns.