Regulator reveals change in focus towards monitoring impact of coronavirus on social landlords
The Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) is to postpone all but the most critical regulatory engagements to allow the organisation and landlords to focus on the most serious existing risks or those that emerge from the current pandemic.
Revealing changes to its regulatory approach yesterday, SHR said it will move its focus to “monitoring the impact of coronavirus on social landlords”.
Landlords, including local authorities providing homelessness services, are being instructed to notify the Regulator of any changes to service levels (including closure of offices or facilities to the public), significant service disruption or financial impact as a consequence of COVID-19.
The Regulator said: “We will use this information to identify emerging issues and serious risks to tenants, people who are homeless and other service users. We then will provide the Scottish Government with regular situation reports to help in its coordination of the national response to the pandemic.”
SHR said it will also postpone the publication of updated engagement plans planned for 31 March 2020 for all landlords other than for the most critical cases, for which updated engagement plans will be published shortly.
It added: “We recognise the unprecedented circumstances that social landlords are facing as a consequence of the pandemic and that they will be working very hard to manage and mitigate the impact on their operations and to safeguard their tenants, people who are homeless and other service users.
“We appreciate that this means that landlords will be prioritising that work over other more routine activity. We will now align our regulatory approach to these new circumstances.”
Extended timescales are now in place for landlords to submit the annual return on the charter and for RSLs to submit the five-year financial projections and the loan portfolio return by the end of July.
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