Regulator publishes summary of risks it will focus on in annual risk assessment

Regulator publishes summary of risks it will focus on in annual risk assessment

The Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) has published a summary of the risks it will focus on in its next annual risk assessment.

The main areas of focus are homelessness, landlord performance in delivering services, quality of homes, tenant and resident safety, the development of new homes, financial health, and governance in RSLs.

The Regulator uses the information it gathers from social landlords in its annual risk assessment to decide upon the areas where it needs further assurance from landlords.

John Jellema, assistant director of regulation, said: “Landlords and tenants continue to face significant challenges. And, the coming period looks like it will remain unpredictable, volatile and difficult for those who rely on social housing and for those who provide it.

“Tenants continue to face significant challenges in their costs of living, particularly in food and energy prices which could see many facing real financial hardship.

“Landlords are dealing with cost inflation, higher interest rates, and increasing requirements on the quality of homes. As a result landlords face increasing, and sometimes competing, pressures on resources, whilst aiming to keep homes as affordable as possible.”

He added: “We recognise that the current context means that social landlords are likely to have to prioritise their attention and resources on the most critical and immediate issues, including tackling the acute problems in homelessness, decarbonising homes and alleviating fuel poverty, and maintaining tenant and resident safety.

“We will take these challenges into account in our risk assessment this year. And, we will continue to respond to the changing landscape and challenges landlords and their tenants face.”

The Regulator will publish the outcome of its risk assessment along with an engagement plan for each social landlord by the end of March 2024.

A summary of the risks the Regulator will focus on is available here and below:

  • 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 and how local authorities are working with their RSL partners to provide settled homes. We will also consider RSL performance in responding to requests for assistance, limiting the time people spend in temporary accommodation. 
  • Performance in delivering services – How local authorities and RSLs deliver services for their tenants and meet the standards and outcomes from the Scottish Government’s Social Housing Charter. 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. 
  • Development – How RSLs manage the impact on their finances of any plans for building new homes. 
  • Quality of homes – How local authorities and RSLs ensure that the homes they provide to tenants meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS), and whether they have a good understanding of the condition of those homes. 
  • Tenant and resident safety – How local authorities and RSLs meet their statutory obligations on tenant and resident safety. 
  • Financial health of RSLs – How financially healthy RSLs are and how well they manage their money with a focus on financial planning and compliance with Regulatory Standard 3
  • Good governance of RSLs – How well RSLs are run with a focus on compliance with Regulatory Standards
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