Housing Ombudsman and Regulator of Social Housing set out how they will continue to work together

The new Memorandum of Understanding reflects new powers under the Social Housing Regulation Act

The Housing Ombudsman and Regulator of Social Housing have published a new Memorandum of Understanding, setting out how the two organisations will continue to work with each other.

The Memorandum of Understanding reflects their new powers under the Social Housing Regulation Act.

Both bodies are committed to strengthening the accountability of social landlords for providing safe homes, quality services and treating tenants with respect.

The updated Memorandum sets out a new framework of communication, cooperation and exchange of information between the regulator and the Ombudsman, and explains how each will work together to deliver their respective roles.

Under the Social Housing (Regulation) Act 2023, the Memorandum is now a statutory document.

The Memorandum includes commitments for:

  • Complementary approaches: both bodies will strive to achieve a compatible  approach while respecting their independent roles.
  • Early communication: they will engage in early-stage communication on issues with potentially significant implications for each other.
  • Signposting: enquirers will be directed to the appropriate organisation, with clear explanations provided.
  • Regular meetings: regular communication, including meetings at various levels of seniority, will be maintained to discuss mutual interests and stakeholder engagement.
  • Promoting understanding: efforts will be made to promote understanding of their respective roles among residents and landlords.
  • Consistent communication: consistency will be ensured in how they communicate about each other’s roles.

Specific areas of information exchange have been set out, including the sharing of data on landlords, coordination on specific cases, intelligence on sector risks, and advance notifications of publications and enforcement actions. The Ombudsman and Regulator have also written to all social landlords setting out how they will  work together under the Memorandum.

Richard Blakeway, Housing Ombudsman, said: “We are both committed to the same objective, which is the long-term improvement of homes and services for residents and the growth of this vital sector.

“Our joint work, offering valuable data, insight, and thematic analysis, underscores a mutual understanding of the sector’s core issues — culture, repairs, and communication.”

Fiona MacGregor, Chief Executive of RSH, said:

“Each organisation’s role has developed as a result of the Social Housing Regulation Act, which gives us each new powers. In line with our remits, we will look to deliver our new roles in a proportionate way to ensure landlords deliver sustainable improvements where those are needed for the benefit of tenants.   

“The updated Memorandum of Understanding gives landlords and tenants clear information about how we work together, in line with our distinct roles.”

From: Regulator of Social Housing