The New Consumer Standards – what they mean for you

The Regulator of Social Housing has today published their paper ‘Reshaping consumer regulation: our new approach’, ( RSH sets new standards to drive improvements in social housing – GOV.UK ( ) detailing new standards expected of social housing landlords, moving forward with the aim to protect tenants and improve the service provided by all social landlords, including councils and housing associations.

 The paper follows on from the Social Housing (Regulation) Act 2023 which has pushed to the forefront the tenant centric attitude providers should have. This has allowed for stronger and more active regulation of consumer standards to come into place from 1st April 2024.

 The new standards mean that landlords will need to:


1.    Ensure tenants are safe in their homes

 This follows on from the tragic passing of Awaab Ishak and the current consultation on Awaab’s Law – the Regulator expects landlords to look at how they deal with damp and mould reports and manage this in line with other Health and Safety Compliance issues such as gas and electrical safety inspections.

 Landlords are expected to understand the condition of each and every building that they own and/or manage and should use this knowledge to inform decisions.


2.    Collect and use data effectively across a range of areas, including repairs

 The Regulator is re-affirming not just the important of having key data available but also using it to push forward with providers ‘own continuous improvement’.

 The previous KIM report published by the Housing Ombudsman looked into how data was created, stored, used, and shared and reinforced the importance of getting it right so that better informed decisions can be made off the back of information held.


3.    Know more about the condition of every home and the needs of the people who live in them

 Linking in with both points 1 and 2 above, the Regulator expects landlords to know their customers and work together to ensure the service provided is right for each individual tenant. Data integrity is vital in meeting this standard and it will be important that every member of organisations are aware of what is expected of them when engaging with their customers.


4.    Listen to tenants’ complaints and respond promptly to put things right

 In a view of strengthening the relationship between landlord and tenant, the Regulator expects landlords to have a culture which allows them to hear what tenants are saying and to implement change in light of that.

 This falls in line with the Tenant Satisfaction Measures and again, the importance of organisations putting tenants back into the centre of all that they do.


5.    Be accountable to tenants and treat them with fairness and respect

 Accountability for landlords has been in the forefront of recent news in light of both the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 and the passing of Awaab Ishak in 2020. Tenant safety is at the heart of what landlords should be delivering and as highlighted in the Regulator’s report, tenants rely on landlords to keep their homes safe, and in turn, keep them and their families safe.  


The above should not come as a surprise to organisations in light of recent spotlight reports from the Housing Ombudsman on topics such as Knowledge and Information Management, Damp and mould, Complaints about repairs and many more which can be found at Spotlight reports | Housing Ombudsman (


The paper confirms that to hold landlords to account, the Regulator of Social Housing will:

  1. Inspect larger landlords regularly to check they are meeting the outcomes in the standards
  2. Scrutinize data about tenant satisfaction, repairs and other relevant issues
  3. Continue to push landlords to protect tenants and put things right when there are problems
  4. Use a range of tools when needed, including new enforcement powers
  5. Continue to focus on the financial viability and governance of housing associations as part of its integrated regulation

The new consumer standards come into force from 1st April 2024 and landlords will be expected to deliver the outcomes in these standards from that date.

The paper confirms the next steps for the new approach to regulation is as follows:


Up to 31st March 2024 Landlords continue collecting first-year TSM data

1st April 2024   Our new consumer standards come into force and the existing ‘serious detriment’ test is removed.

From April 2024 Out new regulatory approach begins, including the first regulatory inspections of large social landlords.

31st May 2024 Deadline for housing associations and other private registered providers to submit their statistical data returns (SDR)

30th June 2024 Deadline for large social landlords to submit their first year of TSM data. Deadline for large housing associations and other private registered providers to submit their financial forecast returns (FFR)

Mid-July 2024 Deadline for local authorities to submit the local authority data return (LADR).

Summer 2024 Publish first regulatory judgement based on findings from inspections.

Autumn 2024 Publish analysis of first year of TSM data

Autumn/Winter 2024 Carry out annual stability checks and update relevant regulatory judgements.


If you have any questions on the new changes please do not hesitate to contact MSB Social Housing and Regeneration governance team.

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