Resident safety - Introduction

The safety of tenants is paramount and should be the primary concern of all landlords.

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Why keeping residents safe and healthy should be your top priority

The safety of tenants is paramount and should be the primary concern of all landlords. In its The charter for social housing residents: social housing white paper, the Government says it expects social housing residents to be safe in their homes. The Building Safety Bill will call to account those responsible for the safety of residents, such as social landlords and will introduce an enhanced regulatory regime for all buildings. There will be a more stringent fire and structural safety regime for higher-risk buildings, with residents having a strong voice in the system. In parallel, the Fire Safety Bill will clarify the scope of the Fire Safety Order in its application to the structure, external walls and flat entrance doors in multi-occupied residential buildings.

While many social landlords already take resident safety seriously, complying with legal requirements, more will be required, particularly for ‘higher-risk’ buildings. The tragedy at Grenfell Tower shook public trust in building safety and revealed significant failings. The NHMF Best Practice website will help landlords understand their legal responsibilities to keep residents safe and healthy and the Q&A briefing on the Building Safety Bill will help them develop the Building Safety case for each ‘higher-risk’ building. Social landlords will have to identify a nominated person responsible for complying with their health and safety requirements. There will be Memorandum of Understanding between the Regulator of Social Housing (‘the regulator’) and the Health and Safety Executive to ensure effective sharing of information with the Building Safety Regulator.

Building safety is a top priority for the Government and residents should be at the heart of building safety. The new Charter for social housing residents sets out that every social housing resident should expect to:

  • Be safe in their home.
  • Know how their landlord is performing, including on repairs, complaints and safety, and how it spends its money, so it can be held to account.
  • Have their complaints dealt with promptly and fairly, with access to a strong ombudsman.
  • Be treated with respect, backed by a strong consumer regulator and improved consumer standards for tenants.
  • Have their voice heard by their landlord.
  • Have a good quality home and neighbourhood to live in, with their landlord keeping their home in good repair.
  • Be supported to take their first step to ownership.

The Government will ensure this Charter is met by working with the regulator to create a strong, proactive consumer regulatory regime. The regulator will have stronger enforcement powers, its standards will be strengthened with its Code of Practice setting out what landlords are required to deliver:

  • Be transparent about their performance and decision-making – so that tenants and the regulator can hold them to account.
  • Put things right when they go wrong.
  • Listen to tenants through effective engagement.

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