Have your say on new Consumer Standards

Tenants and landlords have the opportunity to give their opinions on important new Consumer Standards and Code of Practice being introduced by the Regulator of Social Housing.

The standards will help set expectations that social landlords have to meet and that the Regulators will seek assurance against.

Andrea Malcolm, Bernicia Executive Director of People, Homes and Communities, said: “Our tenants’ voice plays a central role in helping us deliver the exceptional services they want in a way which best suits them.

“We want as many of our tenants as possible to have the opportunity to give their views on these important proposals.

“We are working closely with Bernicia’s involved tenants, to review and share their views and opinions with the regulator. The consultation also gives all our tenants the opportunity to submit their opinions directly to the regulator online.”

Bernicia has put together some Q & As along with useful links to the regulator’s consultation which we hope will assist tenants to take part in the survey.

Who is the regulator:

The Regulator of Social Housing is the Government body that oversees the work of social housing providers like Bernicia. The regulator makes sure that we meet required finance and governance standards, and that we deliver services well.

Why are the Consumer Standards being introduced:

The Regulator has been given new powers to help improve the quality of housing and services for social housing tenants in a way that lasts. To help make this happen, the standards set expectations that social housing landlords have to meet and that the Regulator will seek assurance against. The Code of Practice gives examples of the sorts of things landlords should think about to make sure they meet the standards. These standards are building on and replacing five existing consumer standards.

What are the new Consumer Standards:

There are 4 Consumer Standards:

  • The Safety and Quality Standard
  • The Transparency, Influence and Accountability Standard
  • The Neighbourhood and Community Standard
  • The Tenancy Standard

Along with the Consumer Standards there is also a proposed Code of Practice and impact assessments.

What do I need to do to participate?

You need to read several documents on the regulator’s website before you complete the survey.

You might like to read the summary document first to find out more. This also lists the pages to look at in the main consultation document when considering each of the questions.

Consumer Standards Consultation – July 2023 (publishing.service.gov.uk)

There’s an easy read version of the consultation here which gives a little more background on housing associations:

Standards for social housing tenants: Read our ideas and tell us what you think (publishing.service.gov.uk)

To complete the consultation survey, visit the regulator’s webpage:

Consultation on the consumer standards – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Where can I get assistance:

If you would like some assistance completing the consultation or would like to find out more, please contact Customer Engagement: customer.engagement@bernicia.com or call 0344 800 3800.

When does the consultation close:

The Regulator needs to hear from you by 17 October 2023.

When will the new Consumer Standards and Code of Practice come into force:

They will come into force 1 April 2024.