The Effect Of The Social Housing Regulation Bill 2022-23 On Tenants’ Rights

The Effect Of The Social Housing Regulation Bill 2022-23 On Tenants’ Rights

As the Social Housing Regulation (SHR) Bill 2022-23 approaches its final report stage in the House of Commons our Housing Disrepair Solicitors thought it would be useful to set out why this Bill is so important and how it will improve the rights of tenants. 

Following the tragic death of a two-year-old boy due to respiratory disease linked to mould in his family’s social housing accommodation, we understand that many people are worried about the safety of their homes.

In the opening of the Social Housing White Paper on which many of the reforms in the SHR Bill 2022-23 are based, former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson reflected on the time he visited a mould and damp-infested house on a council estate in the 1980s:

“And what struck me most when I arrived wasn’t the condensation streaming down the windows like a waterfall or the black spores of mould metastasising across the walls or even the rasping cough of the small baby, which seemed to get worse even in the short time I was there.

It was the miserable despair of the father, a man utterly bereft of hope at the problem ever being sorted out. He’d complained to the housing office, he’d complained to his local councillor, he’d complained to anyone who would listen and many who wouldn’t, but nobody seemed to care, nobody seemed willing or able to do anything about it.”

Mr Johnson stated that the White Paper aimed to develop a system to ensure social housing tenants were listened to. The SHR Bill 2022-23 is designed to make this happen.

What is the Social Housing Regulation Bill 2022-23?

The Bill aims to deliver the proposals set out in the Social Housing White Paper and the 2019 Conservative Government Manifesto. This will be achieved by introducing several measures to give tenants greater powers, improve access to swift and fair redress, and enhance the powers of the Regulator of Social Housing (the Regulator).

What did the Social Housing White Paper recommend?

The White Paper set out a charter detailing the standards social housing tenants should be able to expect:

  1. To be safe in your home. We will work with industry and landlords to ensure every home is safe and secure.
  2. To know how your landlord is performing, including on repairs, complaints and safety, and how it spends its money, so you can hold it to account.
  3. To have your complaints dealt with promptly and fairly, with access to a strong ombudsman who will give you swift and fair redress when needed.
  4. To be treated with respect, backed by a strong consumer regulator and improved consumer standards for tenants.
  5. To have your voice heard by your landlord, for example through regular meetings, scrutiny panels or being on its Board. The government will provide help, if you want it, to give you the tools to ensure your landlord listens.
  6. To have a good quality home and neighbourhood to live in, with your landlord keeping your home in good repair.
  7. To be supported to take your first step to ownership.

How has the Social Housing Regulation Bill 2022-23 implemented the standards set out in the White Paper?

The key provisions of the SHR Bill 2022-23 are:

  • Making safety, transparency, and energy efficiency part of the Regulator’s fundamental objectives.
  • Supporting the Regulator to set standards for the competence and conduct of staff working for registered providers of social housing.
  • Ensuring registered providers elect a designated person for health and safety issues.
  • Empowering the Secretary of State to introduce new requirements for registered providers relating to electrical safety checks.
  • Allowing the Regulator to order registered providers to collect and publish performance information.
  • Ensure registered social housing providers are regularly inspected.

The Regulator will also be able to make emergency repairs to ensure tenants are living in quality accommodation (the landlord will have to foot the bill). They will also be able to intervene if a landlord is not providing a decent standard of housing and guarantee timely action if the Regulator is concerned about the decency of the home in question.

Will the SHR Bill 2022-23 help tenants get their homes repaired faster?

Only time will tell. There will be a period of adjustment as the Regulator and registered providers understand their obligations and responsibilities under the new legislation. Much will depend on the willingness of the Regulator to act on specific cases.

In the meantime, it is vital that social housing tenants living in housing that requires repair contact us immediately. Not only can our expert Housing Disrepair Solicitors push your case to the front of the queue, but we may also be able to secure compensation for the damage you have suffered, for example, health issues and stress, due to repairs not being carried out.

How Nicholson Jones Sutton Solicitors can help you with housing disrepair claims

Nicholson Jones Sutton Solicitors are one of the few housing disrepair solicitors across England and Wales who have a professional and dedicated legal team to ensure that your repairs are completed and more importantly get your home into the excellent condition that you deserve.

We can help you with the following aspects:

  • Instruct a surveyor to assess the disrepair and provide a report to use as evidence.
  • If necessary, legally ensure your housing association or council completes all your repairs.
  • Claim compensation for you for the period of time your property has been in disrepair.

Nicholson Jones Sutton Solicitors are housing disrepair claim experts, assisting tenants nationwide on a NO WIN NO FEE basis to compel their council to conduct crucial repairs to their properties, in addition to recovering compensation for the period of time repairs have been delayed.

Our team has decades of combined experience in dealing with Housing Disrepair Claims. We are sympathetic, understanding, and are here to help you every step of the way.

Call us on 0800 093 3393 today to discuss your claim.


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