The Regulator of Social Housing has today (31 October 2019) published the response to its consultation on proposals to introduce a new Rent Standard from 1 April 2020.
The consultation, which ran from May to July 2019, followed a Direction to the regulator by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government in February 2019 to publish a Rent Standard.
The Direction set out the government’s rent policy for social housing for the next five years and covers all areas of rent setting as well as the requirement for RSH to undertake the regulation of local authority rents for the first time. It was supplemented by a comprehensive ‘Policy Statement on Rents for Social Housing,’
which provides much of the detail needed by providers to ensure that they comply with rent setting requirements.
The Rent Standard will implement policy for social housing rents when the requirements of the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016 come to an end.
There were 127 responses to the consultation, with the sector giving a very positive response to the proposals. Key points from the consultation were:
- Most respondents (92.7%) felt that RSH had accurately reflected the requirements of the Direction in its proposed Rent Standard.
- The majority (81.3%) also said the information in conjunction with the policy statement gave providers an appropriate level of clarity about the rules on rent with which they would be required to comply.
- Issues identified around drafting of the Rent Standard have led to changes to its layout.
As a result of the consultation, the new Rent Standard has been finalised and will come into force on 1 April 2020.
Fiona MacGregor, Chief Executive of RSH, said:
Having consulted with a wide range of stakeholders and taken into account their feedback, we are confident that our new Rent Standard, which will come into effect from April 2020, reflects the Government’s Direction, which it had previously consulted on. It updates our role with regards to monitoring local authority registered provider rents.
The Decision Statement and response to the consultation is available on our website.
The Government’s consultation Rents for social housing from 2020-21 which ran from September to November 2018, is on the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s website