‘Name and Shame’ Failing Landlords

Major reforms set to see government publicly ‘name and shame’ failing landlords

Landlords have long lived with a poor reputation, which is undeserved by many. But now, failing social housing providers are set to be outed by the government as part of major reforms which will seek to give residents a stronger voice and improve standards in the sector.

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The announcement follows the government’s ‘Make Things Right’ campaign to help people secure improvements to their living conditions and would see social landlords who provide substandard housing and services ‘named and shamed’ publicly on the government’s website and on social media channels. 

This will allow tenants to actively avoid these landlords, who will be forced to shape up, or lose their business, while tenants are far more likely to find good landlords.

The measures, which were announced on 29th March 2022, also include creating a Resident Panel to give tenants who live in social housing a chance to be heard directly by the government.

The reforms set out in the Social Housing White Paper, are due to be delivered through legislation.

Social housing reform

This is a major reform of the way in which social landlords are regulated and would see them be more accountable for the homes and services they deliver. 

As part of the measures, around 250 social tenants from across England will be invited to share their experiences to help the government ensure its reforms work and that standards are improved.

The government has already started seeking to drive up standards by establishing a wide range of measures to fix a broken complaints system.

These include strengthening regulation of the sector, empowering residents to know and exercise their rights and improving the Housing Ombudsman Service.

New measures

The package of measures announced at the end of March 2022 includes:

  • Resident Panel. This Panel will give residents the chance to have their say on ways to improve the quality of social housing. The Panel will also allow residents to scrutinise and influence measures to help strengthen the Decent Homes Standard, (training and qualification for staff,) a new Access to Information Scheme and other planned reforms
  • Factsheet. A new factsheet will explain the role of the Regulator of Social Housing and Housing Ombudsman Service
  • Progress updates. A single gov.uk page will be established to set out progress on implementing the measures in the Social Housing White Paper, as well as further measures introduced to improve quality of social housing
  • Social media announcements. Publicising on social media where landlords have breached the Regulator’s consumer standards or where the Housing Ombudsman has made its most serious finding against them of severe maladministration
  • Publishing draft clauses. The draft clauses to legislation will reform the regulation of social housing through, for example, greater enforcement tools to tackle failing landlords, and new responsibilities on social landlords, as well as tougher consumer powers

Minister for Social Housing Eddies Hughes MP said: 

Everyone in this country deserves to live in a safe and decent home. It is unacceptable that anyone should have mould covering their walls, risk slipping on a wet floor or have water dripping from the ceiling. We have published draft legislation to toughen up regulation of social housing landlords.

Hughes added that giving tenants ‘a direct channel to raise their concerns’ would help the government to deliver on its commitment to halve the number of non-decent rented homes by 2030.

How to be a good landlord

Landlording can be tough, especially if you’re doing it alongside a full time day job. But most landlords want to be good landlords for their tenants:

  • Safety first. Legal certification like your Gas Safety Certificate and EICR are required because it ensures the safety of your property. The same is true for smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. So make sure you have the certification and have tested all the alarms
  • Money-saving updates. As the cost-of-living skyrockets, tenants will be looking for homes that will be cheap to run. Combine that with the potential changes to minimum EPC ratings and it’s worth investing as much and as soon as you can to make your property energy efficient and save your tenants some money
  • Keep up-to-date. Make sure that you are on top of the latest changes. You can follow Mashroom on social media or sign up to our newsletter to hear the latest news
  • Be responsive. If there are any issues in the property, be sure to respond to them as quickly as possible. This is for your tenant’s comfort and peace of mind, but it also means that you won’t find a small problem becoming a much bigger one later. Home Emergency Insurance will also protect against any sudden disasters
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