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The Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) has published its response to the consultation on the Rent Standard 2020 it launched in May.
So, what’s changed? Not much: as the RSH is bound to the government’s rent direction, which has already been consulted on, only small adjustments have been made.
And here are the changes, or clarifications, which will be effective from April 2020:
- Rents for high income social tenants (HIST) are voluntary for registered providers, not mandatory
- Exemption from compliance for local authorities is not in the gift of the RSH and is dealt with in the Rent Policy Statement
- 5% and 10% flexibilities can be applied to new developments
- Rent caps were frozen at 2016 levels but will increase by Consumer Price Index (CPI) + 1.5% each year from April 2020. The RSH will publish the new caps every November
- The new Rent Standard doesn’t require guidance as the rents policy statement already has it covered
- The standard continues to apply to a registered provider subject to a housing administration order (as part of an insolvency) unless the it’s been granted an exemption by the RSH
The consultation received 187 responses – but 60 of them didn’t complete the questions so had to go in the bin. Of the remaining 127 fit-for-purpose responses:
70 (55%) were from private registered providers
33 (26%) were from local authorities/ALMOs
17 (13%) responses were from trade or representative bodies
4 (3%) were anonymous
3 (3%) from unknown named organisations