Regulator sets out COVID-19 tenant safety focus in annual risk assessment
How landlords ensure that they are meeting their duties to keep tenants and residents safe and continue to do so during the COVID-19 pandemic is a key area of focus for the Scottish Housing Regulator in its annual risk assessment.
The Regulator’s annual risk assessment is the main way it works to safeguard and promote the interests of tenants and service users and provides assurance that social landlords continue to deliver good quality homes and services for their tenants and other service users. The Regulator uses the annual risk assessment to determine what assurance it needs from landlords and what they may need to improve.
The main risks it will focus this year are:
- Homelessness - How local authorities deliver services for people who are threatened with, or experiencing, homelessness. This includes providing people who need it with suitable temporary accommodation (particularly during the pandemic) and how they are working with their RSL partners to provide settled homes, limiting the time people spend in temporary accommodation.
- Tenant and resident safety – How landlords ensure that they are meeting their duties to keep tenants and residents safe and continue to do so during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will also include how landlords that provide Gypsy/Travellers sites ensure minimum site standards and fire safety requirements to meet the needs of residents.
- Financial health of RSLs – How financially healthy RSLs are and how well they manage their money with a focus on resilience and financial planning against the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Governance of RSLs – How well run RSLs are.
Helen Shaw, assistant director of regulation, said: “This year, we will have a strong focus on how social landlords are responding to the challenges of COVID-19. We will also take into account each landlord’s own view of its compliance with regulatory requirements, as set out in their annual assurance statements.
“Tenant and resident safety, rent affordability as well as good governance and financial health all remain important priorities in our assessment of risk this year. We will continue to have a strong focus on how local authorities meet their duties to provide homes for people who are threatened with, or experiencing, homelessness.
“We will also focus on how social landlords deliver for Gypsy/Travellers and the need for landlords to meet the minimum standards and fire safety requirements for the people who use their sites.”