New Consumer Regulation giving greater rights and protections for tenants

The Government introduced new consumer standards for social housing from 1st April, 2024 as part of The Social Housing (Regulation) Act 2023. These standards are enforced by the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) and apply to all social landlords, including housing associations like South Lakes Housing and councils too.

The new standards provide tenants greater rights and protections and help to improve the quality of social housing and the service tenants receive overall. There are clear expectations for landlords to follow and you as tenants and residents can help to hold South Lakes Housing to account.

The four consumer standards are:

1. Safety and Quality Standard – this standard aims to ensure that homes are good quality, safe and well maintained.

2. Transparency, Influence and Accountability Standard – this standard set out that landlords should provide information, listen and act on tenants’ views, be transparent about performance and have clear processes for tenants to raise complaints.

3. Neighbourhood and Community Standard – this standard promotes partnership working with external agencies in relation to shared spaces, including addressing anti-social behaviour and supporting victims of domestic abuse.

4. Tenancy Standard – this standard set out how landlords allocate and let homes and manage tenancies. This includes supporting tenants to maintain their tenancy and supporting eligible tenants to carry out a mutual exchange.

For more information about these standards visit Regulatory standards for landlords – GOV.UK (

South Lakes Housing has completed a self-assessment to identify compliance with the standards and to identify areas where further improvement is required. The draft is being considered by the Residents Forum (11th July) and will be sent to the Board for approval on 8th August. The self-assessment will be published here.

Tenant Satisfaction Measures (TSMs)

As part of the new standards the RSH also introduced a new requirement for all social housing landlords to annually report on a set of measures that tells you how we are doing at providing quality homes and services.

The measures aim to improve standards for people living in social rented housing (known as Low Cost Rented Accommodation (LCRA)) and shared owners (known as Low Cost Home Ownership (LCHO)) by:

• Showing you how well we are doing on important things like delivering repairs, dealing with any complaints and treating you with respect.

• Allowing you to hold us to account when we are not performing as we should.

• Giving the Regulator an insight into which landlords might need to improve things for their customers.

TSMs will show how well we:

• keep your homes in a good state of repair.

• make sure your homes are safe.

• give you opportunities to have your say, and act on your views.

• handle complaints.

You can check out how South Lakes Housing is doing here TSM Customer Satisfaction Survey Results – South Lakes Housing which will be updated when benchmarking information is available.

Complaint Handling

A new Housing Ombudsman’s Complaint Handling Code also came into force at the same time, operating on a new statutory footing. The new Code represents a major change and shifts the balance towards responsiveness and accountability. From 1 April 2024 there is a legal duty placed on the Ombudsman to monitor compliance with the Code, regardless of whether it receives individual complaints from residents about a Housing Provider.

Key changes include:

• Extending time for complaints from 6 months to 12 months.

• Timescales for responding to complaints can be extended recognising some complaints are more complex.

• Housing Providers will only be allowed to have two complaints stages- and residents do not need to give a reason to escalate a complaint to stage two.

• The landlord self-assessment statement is to be presented to and signed off by the Board itself and Housing Providers need both an identified Member Responsible for Complaints and senior officer accountable for responding to complaints. The self-assessment is to be published on landlord websites.

• Compliance statements by all Housing Providers with 1,000+ homes need to be published by 30 June each year which aligns with timetable for producing Tenant Satisfaction Measures.

• There is also a requirement to publish an annual complaints performance and service improvement report, approved by the governing body, and uploaded to landlord websites and submitted to the Housing Ombudsman.

You can find South Lakes Housing’s governing body statement, self-assessment and annual complaints and service improvement report by clicking on the following links.

How to Submit a Comment or Complaint – South Lakes Housing

Self-Assessment-v-HOS-CHC.pdf (

SLH-Annual-Complaints-Service-Improvement-Report-202324.pdf (

How to get involved?

If you would like to get more involved in holding South Lakes Housing to account, the Residents Forum provides challenge and scrutiny and help shape and influence decisions about the services we provide.

Click here to find out more about our Residents Forum.