The Regulator of Social Housing's (RSH) four new Consumer Standards for social housing landlords in England came into effect at the beginning of April. They aim to ensure that tenants have a voice in how their homes and services are managed, and that they are treated fairly and respectfully by their landlords.

What are the new Consumer Standards?

The new standards are:

  • The Safety and Quality Standard which requires landlords to provide safe and good-quality homes for their tenants, along with good-quality landlord services.
  • The Transparency, Influence and Accountability Standard which requires landlords to be open with tenants and treat them with fairness and respect so they can access services, raise concerns when necessary, influence decision making and hold their landlord to account.
  • The Neighbourhood and Community Standard which requires landlords to engage with other relevant parties so that tenants can live in safe and well-maintained neighbourhoods, and feel safe in their homes.
  • The Tenancy Standard which sets requirements for the fair allocation and letting of homes, as well as requirements for how tenancies are managed by landlords.

What do the new standards mean for our tenants?

These new standards give our tenants more rights and opportunities to influence how their homes and services are delivered. Our tenants can expect to:

  • Be involved in scrutiny of Red Kite, and be provided with information to support effective scrutiny of our performance in delivering landlord services.
  • Receive clear and timely information about our performance, policies and procedures, and how they can access support, advice and service.
  • Have access to a range of effective and responsive complaint mechanisms, and be able to escalate their complaints to the Housing Ombudsman or the RSH if they are not satisfied with the outcome.
  • Live in homes that are safe, comfortable, and fit for purpose, and have their repairs and maintenance requests dealt with promptly and efficiently.
  • Be supported to maintain their tenancy, and where tenancy is ended be offered advice and assistance.
  • Enjoy a good quality of life in their neighbourhoods and communities, and benefit from our contribution to social, environmental and economic sustainability.

What do the new standards mean for Red Kite and other social landlords?

The new standards place more responsibilities and expectations on us as a social landlord to deliver high-quality and customer-focused services to our tenants. We will need to:

  • Engage and empower our tenants at all levels of the organisation, and demonstrate how we have taken tenants' views and feedback into account.
  • Provide transparent and accessible information to our tenants and the RSH, and report on our performance against the standards and other relevant indicators.
  • Have effective and fair complaint handling and resolution processes, and cooperate with the Housing Ombudsman and the RSH in resolving any disputes or regulatory issues.
  • Ensure that our tenants’ homes meet the required standards for health and safety, and have robust systems and procedures for managing and mitigating any risks.
  • Offer tenancy agreements that suit the needs and circumstances of our tenants, and provide adequate support and advice to help our tenants sustain their tenancies.
  • Work collaboratively with our tenants and local partners to improve the social, environmental and economic outcomes for their neighbourhoods and communities.

The RSH will monitor and enforce these new standards, and will intervene if landlords fail to comply or pose a serious risk to tenants' interests. The RSH will also publish guidance and good practice examples to help landlords meet the standards and improve their services.

Where can I find out more about the new Consumer Standards?

Further detail on the new Consumer Standards can be found on the GOV.UK website: