Social housing to undergo Ofsted-style inspections under new bill

Reforms made to social housing today will bring in Ofsted-style inspections of council homes which could result in unacceptable landlords facing unlimited fines.

Under the new Social Housing Regulation Bill, the Regulator of Social Housing will be given more powers to issue fines and enter properties with just 48 hours’ notice, rather than the previous 28 days.

The public body will also be permitted to force landlords to pay to cover emergency repairs when properties are found to be inadequate.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said: ‘In 2022 it is disgraceful that anyone should live in damp, cold and unsafe homes, waiting months for repairs and being routinely ignored by their landlord. These new laws will end this injustice and ensure the regulator has strong new powers to take on rogue social landlords.”

‘We are driving up the standards of social housing and giving residents a voice to make sure they get the homes they deserve. That is levelling up in action.’

Reforms have also been made in terms of transparency, as social housing tenants will now also be allowed to demand information and rate their landlords.

A new 250-person residents panel convening every four months will be set up to allow tenants to share their experiences with ministers and inform policy thinking.

The new bill will also require landlords to make someone responsible for health and safety within their properties.

The government says this is the latest step in ‘addressing the systemic issues identified following the Grenfell Tower tragedy’ and it will continue to ‘name and shame’ the worst offenders.

This comes after Mr. Gove expressed his dismay after social housing provider Clarion was found by the Housing Ombudsman to have severe cases of maladministration.

Lord John Bird, crossbench peer and founder of The Big Issue, said: ‘I’m pleased to hear that the government has committed to introducing legislation through the Social Housing Regulation Bill to strengthen protections for private renters and socially rented sector. It is vital for all residents to live in a safe, secure, good quality and affordable home.

‘These protections for renters is a welcome step from the government, and I hope to see further preventative measures put in place to help people, especially those who are already struggling to make ends meet, remain in their homes and not put at risk of homelessness. There is still more that can be done to safeguard low-income renters and reduce inequality, so let’s make sure we carry on building on this progress.’

Photo by Benjamin Elliott


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top