Council Housing: Standards

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered on 1st June 2022.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will make it his policy to regularly inspect the (a) policies and (b) practices of local authority housing departments to ensure that they are in line with Government policy.

Photo of Stuart Andrew Stuart Andrew Assistant Whip, Minister of State (Minister for Housing)

We have provided local authorities with strong enforcement powers to tackle poor property standards in the private rented sector, and we would expect them to use and reflect these powers in their policies and practices. Local authorities have a legal duty to take enforcement action if they find seriously hazardous conditions.

My officials work closely with the Local Government Association and individual authorities to address any queries or concerns and ensure that local authorities are using the full range of enforcement tools which have been provided through legislation.

As social housing landlords, local authorities are also subject to the Regulator of Social Housing’s consumer standards. As announced in the Queen’s Speech, we will be introducing the Social Housing Regulation Bill in the Third Session, which will enable proactive consumer regulation, regular inspections of the largest social housing landlords, and stronger enforcement powers when things go wrong. Landlords, including local authorities, will face more scrutiny, with the Regulator proactively assuring themselves that they are meeting the standards. The Regulator will also be given strong enforcement powers to use where local authorities do not meet the standards.

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