ONS reclassification: Regulator vows to continue to protect tenants’ interests
The Scottish Housing Regulator said it will work constructively to deal with any challenges which may arise from forthcoming legislation which could see a reduction in its powers.
In light of yesterday’s decision by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to classify Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) as public bodies, the Scottish Government has pledged to draft a new Housing Amendment (Scotland) Bill that will adjust the powers of the Regulator and allow the ONS to reclassify RSLs to the private sector.
Measures in the Bill are likely to remove the need for the Regulator’s consent to the disposal of assets by RSLs; limit the Regulator’s ability to appoint members and managers to RSLs and remove the need for the Regulator’s consent to the restructuring, voluntary winding up and dissolution of RSLs.
Chief executive, Michael Cameron, told Scottish Housing News that the Regulator will continue to protect the interests of tenants whatever the outcome.
Mr Cameron said: “The ONS decision is very much as expected. We know that the Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that RSLs are reclassified as within the private sector, and has already announced its intention to introduce a Bill to make that happen.
“We will continue to work constructively with the Scottish Government and our stakeholders, including lenders, to deal with any challenges which may arise from this to ensure that we continue to regulate effectively to protect the interests of tenants and future tenants.”