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Industry news


Council rapped by regulator over fire and water safety issues


assessments or to carry out the necessary work arising from them. Arun District Council in West Sussex did not


T


have a programme of fire risk assessments for its high-rise flats until 2016. It had previously only carried out assessments when issues were reported. The regulator says the council has now carried out


he social housing regulator has taken the unusual step of criticising a South coast local authority for failing to carry out risk


the assessments, but it has not acted on all the issues raised in them. It also criticised the council over its approach


to water safety, where it was operating a largely reactive system of risk assessments, failing to proactively identify and assess the risks of their tenants’ exposure to the bacteria Legionella. In 2017, the council carried out a review of its health and safety arrangements and established a


new team to lead on health and safety in its housing stock. After the regulator notified the council of its failure to comply with the Home Standard, it commissioned an external review, which in May 2018 found that there were “significant weaknesses” in its current system. The regulator said the council’s actions


constituted a breach of the Home Standard, through creating “the potential for serious detriment to Arun District Council’s tenants”.


Regulator finds just five breaches of tenants’ rights


consumer standard being broken by social landlords. Figures published by the Regulator of Social Housing in its review of consumer regulation in 2017/18 show that it received 534 consumer


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he social housing regulator undertook 77 investigations into tenant-related issues last year, but found just five instances of the


referrals, 204 of which were considered by its consumer regulation panel and 77 were investigated. These numbers are very similar to the previous


year, when it received 532 referrals, considered 217 and investigated 105, resulting in a single breach. The regulator said it believed the dip in the


proportion of investigations from 21 to 14 per cent of referrals, was “attributable to the increase in self- referrals from registered providers and associated improvements in the quality of information provided to the regulator from registered providers, which meant that further investigations were not required”.


14 | HMM September 2018 | www.housingmmonline.co.uk


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