Government calls on social housing tenants to take action for improved living standards

Government calls on social housing tenants to take action for improved living standards

0:02 AM, 10th October 2023, About 8 months ago 11

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Social housing tenants are being urged to put pressure on landlords to improve their living conditions in a new campaign.

The government has launched the next phase of the ‘Make Things Right’ campaign, which aims to empower residents to report issues and make complaints to improve social housing conditions.

The government wants to inform social housing tenants of their rights and ensure they escalate complaints to the Housing Ombudsman if concerns are not addressed swiftly or appropriately.

Gives residents a greater voice

Housing Secretary, Michael Gove MP said: “Social landlords who fail their residents time and time again must be held to account.

“The continued success of our Make Things Right campaign gives residents a greater voice to bring about real change – making sure they know their rights to stand up to bad landlords and go to the Ombudsman when issues remain unresolved. “

He added: “Our Social Housing Act is now law and Awaab’s Law remains a firm reminder of the importance for all tenants to have the right to live in safe and decent homes while being treated with fairness and respect.”

As part of the government’s mission to improve the quality of social housing, the Housing Secretary has been naming and shaming landlords who have not taken their responsibilities seriously.

Ground-breaking changes through the Social Housing Regulation Act will introduce new powers for unlimited fines and emergency repairs that landlords will have to pay for.

Nobody should live in a home that’s falling apart

Social housing campaigner, Kwajo Tweneboa, said: “I have said from the very beginning, nobody should live in a home that’s falling apart or unsafe. If a landlord wouldn’t, neither should their tenants.

“Report to your landlord, complain to your landlord and if they still refuse to take action report them straight to the Housing Ombudsman.”

Since last year, it has been quicker for residents to raise complaints directly with the Ombudsman, removing requirements to write to an MP or local councillor first and wait eight weeks after completing the landlord’s process.

Referrals to the Ombudsman have spiked in demand with a 78% increase in March compared to the same month a year before.

Richard Blakeway, Housing Ombudsman, said: “Effective complaint handling is vital to ensure issues are resolved at the earliest opportunity.

“A landlord’s complaint process should be accessible for any resident that wishes to make a complaint. The process gives landlords a fair opportunity to put things right for residents when things have gone wrong, whether that be through a repair, apology or offer of compensation.

“If residents are still unhappy after the landlord’s final complaint response, they can bring their complaint to us at the Housing Ombudsman.”


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Comments

John MacAlevey

9:53 AM, 10th October 2023, About 8 months ago

I drive past local council houses that have gardens, it`s 50/50 whether the tenants maintain the gardens, some do, some don`t. Given this is `public` property in the care of LA`s, the occupants should be required to upkeep the gardens as part of their tenancy in the same way as PRS tenants. If they don`t maintain, fine them or give warning.

Reluctant Landlord

10:14 AM, 10th October 2023, About 8 months ago

yes tenants please get on to the council about your living standards! They should be held to account if the property is in a poor state.
The potential labour government then will have a better picture of the dire situation with social housing and the costs involved and reaslise the PRS is still desperately needed..... and you Pi$$ of LL's at your voters peril!

GlanACC

10:14 AM, 10th October 2023, About 8 months ago

The landlords need an ombudsnam where landlords can register compaints about scumbags and non payers. If there is to be a register of landlords then there should also be a register of tenants (all tenants)

NewYorkie

10:24 AM, 10th October 2023, About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by John MacAlevey at 10/10/2023 - 09:53We grew up in council then housing association housing, and they were our homes just as much as someone who owned theirs. We tended our gardens, installed our own gas fires, and even built a bathroom [shed] in the garden [better than a tin bath in the kitchen!]. No hand-outs, no benefits, no housing ombudsman...
What has happened with so many in social housing, that they are prepared to live in squalor?

Where are the voices of Shelter and Generation Rent in this?

Darren Peters

10:43 AM, 10th October 2023, About 8 months ago

Probably a coincidence but in the last few weeks flyers have started to appear in council buildings from ambulance chasers targeting council tenants who have not had a decent service from their council.

Ray Guselli

11:18 AM, 10th October 2023, About 8 months ago

I for one am sick and tired of landlords being a whipping post for successive Government’s failures to build adequate affordable social housing.

Every week there seems to be some sort of initiative and/or campaign to criticise efforts made by landlords to house people who can turn out to be the most difficult, causing damage and not paying rent.

We have a court system which is already unable to cope with evictions and County Court Judgements, most of which are necessary because of tenant behaviour and the Government’s plans will further block the system and cause delays.

A future, and as is likely, Labour Government, will as is customary, vilify landlords even more, often without good cause or reason, causing the PRS to shrink even further with nothing to accommodate the tenants who may become homeless.

All of this rhetoric yet nothing, absolutely nothing about bad tenants and what steps are being taken to “effectively” deal with the problem in a meaningful timescale.

The plans to use Section 8, and an Ombudsman service will simply block or delay even further the means of dealing quickly with bad tenants, because the proposals are not supported by resources, which are already unable to cope.

The behaviour of these bad tenants may have an adverse effect on neighbours and reduce the ability of a landlord to invest in their properties: hence problems in the PRS. (Of course, Local Authority and Housing Association properties seem exempt from the problems the Government sees in the PRS)

Can we please see some balance brought to the table and for governments to recognise that we, the PRS are doing a job which is increasingly difficult, as we have to abide by an ever-increasing raft of legislation, none of which benefits landlords, greater and often financially undeliverable demands and greater rights for tenants.

I have let lovely properties, only to see them wrecked in a matter of weeks: I have provided the living standards the Government demands, only to see that destroyed by tenants who have then not paid the rent due and who, when pursued for the debt through the court walk away from responsibility with an IVA or a DRO, leaving me out of pocket.

Why doesn’t the Government call on tenants to behave in a more “tenant like manner” because at the moment, we are being blamed even for tenant’s lifestyle problems by a Minister who do not understand the problems.

Instead of putting pressure on landlords as suggested through their initiative “make things right” calling for greater change, why not do the same for tenants: or is that not a vote winner as an election looms.

It's about time those in Government started to listen to those who know what is happening rather than those who “think” they know.

Chris @ Possession Friend

11:20 AM, 10th October 2023, About 8 months ago

The government shouldn't be " Encouraging " more complaints, but ensuring that Housing Associations, AND Councils, respond better & quicker to the complaints already made.

NewYorkie

11:35 AM, 10th October 2023, About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ray Guselli at 10/10/2023 - 11:18
Spot on! But the votes of landlords are insufficient to make any meaningful difference. Whereas, those who depend on the State will always vote for the Party which offers them yet more, for even less responsibility.

The Tories have tried really hard over the past 10 years to appeal to that section of society, at the expense of the PRS, but Labour is their natural home because they really believe in the 'Nanny State'.

Look at the lowest and widest tier of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and you understand Labour!

C-cider

17:54 PM, 10th October 2023, About 8 months ago

The problem with social housing is that many of the staff are socialists. Lazy and ineffective.

The answer is to sell social housing to private landlords who are skilled at maintaining property and managing tenancies.

Michael Booth

6:28 AM, 11th October 2023, About 8 months ago

Until yesterday l have asked tenants to apply for eco4 grants which they are legally entitled to do without a single tenant taking up the offer, amazing .

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