RSH Recently published the results of its fees consultation

Big changes are coming to social housing regulation in the UK! The Social Housing Regulator (RSH) has finalized its plans for a new charging system following a consultation period ending in October 2023. If you want to know what these new charges are going to be, we request you to read our post till the end.

Revised fee structure Big Change

The government has mandated social landlords to accept the full financial burden of their regulation. To comply with this order, a revised fee structure is being implemented. The move brings the social housing sector in line with many other regulated industries, where maintenance costs are borne by the organizations themselves.

However, the impact of this change goes beyond just cost recovery. The increased funding will help RSH to increase its regulatory capacity, which aims to empower tenants and improve the overall quality of social housing.

Key Changes in the Fee Regime

New rules on social housing will come into effect from 1 July 2024. Some important changes include:

  • Increased fees: All social landlords will now have to pay more fees to fully operate the regulation. This will provide enough money to RSH to carry out its functions better.
  • Charges for large councils: Local authorities with more than 1000 social homes will now have to pay a charge. This will focus on ensuring better customer service from RSH.
  • Advance Registration Fee: Organizations applying to become a registered provider will now have to pay a fee in advance.
  • Tiered fee structure: Small social landlords with fewer than 1000 homes will continue to pay a flat fee. Social landlords with more than 1000 homes and large local authorities will continue to pay a charge based on the number of homes they own.

Benefits for Tenants

The revised fee regime offers significant promise to tenants. This new fee reform will have the following benefits for tenants:

  • Enhanced Inspections: A new inspection program for large landlords will allow RSH to proactively identify and address problems, ensuring tenants have access to safe, well-maintained housing.
  • Strong governance: Increased regulatory scrutiny will encourage social landlords to prioritize good governance practices, leading to more transparent and accountable management.
  • Improved financial viability: RSH’s focus on financial viability will ensure that social landlords have the necessary resources to deliver quality services and effectively maintain their properties.

Transparency and Value for Money

RSH recognizes that people who pay their fees deserve their money’s worth. RSH chief executive, Fiona McGregor, emphasized their commitment to “regulate in an effective and efficient way” while using new resources responsibly.

RSH emphasizes the importance of transparency through the consultation process. They have made the decision statement and related documents easily available on their website. This will give stakeholders a clear understanding of the rationale behind the fee changes.

Potential Challenges

While there are many good things about the new fee system, there are also some challenges. Small social landlords may experience financial difficulties due to increased charges. To overcome these challenges and ensure a smooth transition, better communication and cooperation between the Social Housing Regulator (RSH) and social landlords is essential.

The success of the new system depends on providing better housing and amenities for tenants. The RSH needs to support a robust inspection programme, support for social landlords for good governance and better communication with tenants.

Overall, the revised fee structure is an important step towards a more robust and tenant-focused social housing regulatory system. By providing essential resources to RSH, the Government can deliver long-term improvements for millions of tenants across the UK.

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