Tenant Satisfaction Measures – the three key elements to consider
7 October 2022
The Regulator of Social Housing has recently published its Decision Statement, following the consultation on the introduction of Tenant Satisfaction Measures (TSM). The consultation window closed on 3 March 2022 with the Tenant Satisfaction Measures coming into effect on 1 April 2023, so there is time for Registered Providers of Social Housing to prepare for the new requirements. The aim set out in the Statement is to publish the first year of data in autumn 2024.
Within the 55 page Statement three key elements require further consideration.
Firstly, the Decision Statement requires all registered social housing providers to collect and publish a range of information on repairs, complaints and safety checks. There is a full list on pages 3 and 4 of the Statement and it runs to 22 TSMs. The ultimate aim is to collate this information in one place to allow tenants “greater transparency about their landlord’s performance” as well as to allow the regulator to identify areas of improvement that individual landlords can make.
It will be interesting to see the first wave of data, and understand how much engagement there is from tenants. During the consultation that lead to this statement (opened 9 December 2021, closed 3 March 2022), there were 1098 responses. Roughly 57% of those came from occupants. This information is only valuable if there is engagement and that remains to be seen, although it should be noted that not all of the information required will come from tenant surveys.
Secondly, there have been a few small changes to some of the TSMs to make the definitions clearer and better reflect on the feedback from the consultation. It is vital to read the new wording as the focus of the TSM may have changed. For example, RP02 was originally focused on non-emergency repairs. It now requires registered providers to provide information regarding emergency and non-emergency works. This is also a reminder that registered providers need to be very clear in relation to each TSM what information they need to obtain.
Finally, there have been amendments to the survey requirements with the aim of increasing transparency on how data is collected and analysed. Annexed to the Statement is a series of additional documents, which provide the technical requirements for obtaining data and conducting surveys. This is information that should be considered and understood by all registered providers.
The Birketts view
While there can be a tendency to resist change and initiatives that appear to create more work for an already stretched public service, if landlords engage with this positively it could be a really useful source of information. It would help, to determine where improvements can be made and allow landlords to be more pro-active in the work that they do and the service they provide.
The content of this article is for general information only. It is not, and should not be taken as, legal advice. If you require any further information in relation to this article please contact the author in the first instance. Law covered as at October 2022.