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Welcome to the learning4housing blog. I will be posting my thoughts and opinions on a range of issues facing the social housing sector. You are more than welcome to post your comments, whether you agree or disagree on the points. The aim here is to stimulate some debate on these issues, whether they are about current government policy or about best practice in housing management or strategy.

is an independent training provider for the social housing sector. We cover a wide range of subject areas, including anti-social behaviour, homelessness, resident involvement, void control, choice-based lettings, and complaints management, as well as personal skills development around communication, negotiation, assertiveness, influencing, managing people, etc. Please visit the main website for more information at

Please call David on 07986 246406 to discuss your training needs and how we can help, or email at

Wednesday, March 28

Regulation, standards and independent arbitration

I have previously blogged about the changes to the way social landlords are regulated, and some of the potential problems that I can see developing in the future. This is mainly around the lack of any robust checks on those landlords who do not deliver services in line with standards or who fail to comply with requirements to engage with their tenants in a co-regulatory regime. The 'serious detriment' test will not pick up any failures that do not result in serious harm to tenants, which effectively means that those landlords that continue to deliver poor services will not be challenged, either by their tenants or by a regulator. A gap that should be filled, but in what way?  Hopefully, this debate will develop throughout the social housing sector in the coming months, perhaps when there is a general realisation amongst tenants and responsible landlords what the impact of deregulation could actually mean.

I have heard one very sensible suggestion that there should be an independent arbitration service which tenants could approach in the event of a dispute around the meeting of standards or the willingness to embrace co-regulation and tenant scrutiny. Clearly, this would have to be funded, and this should be by the government. They have removed the protection of tenants' interests and now they should be willing to provide funding for an independent body which could give some reassurance back to tenants.

David Wardle March 28, 2012.

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