One Source Dec 19 Deputy Director

Tower Hamlets Dec 19 Updated 600 3

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Housing watchdog looks to introduce new Rent Standard from April 2020

A new Rent Standard is set to be introduced from 1 April 2020 after the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) published its response to a consultation on its proposals.

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 RSH said: “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.”

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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.

The watchdog said it received 127 responses to the consultation, and claimed that the sector gave “a very positive response” to the proposals.

It said 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 had led to changes to its layout.

As a result of the consultation, the new Rent Standard has been finalised.

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 the RSH’s website.

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