The Scottish Housing Regulator has published a summary of the risks that it will focus on in its next annual risk assessment.

They are:

  • Homelessness – How local authorities deliver services for people who are threatened with, or experiencing, homelessness. This includes providing people who need it with suitable temporary accommodation (particularly during the pandemic) and how they are working with their RSL partners to provide settled homes. We will also consider RSL performance in responding to requests for assistance, limiting the time people spend in temporary accommodation.
  • Performance – How local authorities and RSLs deliver services for their tenants and meet the standards and outcomes from the Scottish Government’s Social Housing Charter. This will also include how landlords that provide Gypsy/Travellers sites ensure minimum site standards and fire safety requirements to meet the needs of residents.
  • Stock quality – How local authorities and RSLs ensure that their homes meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard and the Energy Efficiency Standards.
  • Development – How RSLs manage the delivery of any plans for building new homes.
  • Financial health of RSLs – How financially healthy RSLs are and how well they manage their money with a focus on financial planning and compliance with Regulatory Standard 3.
  • Good governance of RSLs – How well run RSLs are.

Last year the Regulator amended the approach to its annual risk assessment to take into account the impact of the pandemic on landlords’ performance. It will continue to do that this year and will seek to focus on the resilience of landlords.

The Regulator’s annual risk assessment is the main way it works to protect the interests of tenants and service users. It informs the Regulator’s decision about what further information or assurance it needs from social landlords.

The Regulator sets out how it will engage with each landlord in an engagement plan which it publishes on its website. For RSLs this will include a Regulatory Status. It will publish the outcomes from its risk assessment by the end of March 2021.

Helen Shaw, Assistant Director of Regulation said: “Social landlords have faced unprecedented challenges over the past 18 months and  have been at the forefront of efforts to support their tenants in such difficult times. It is likely that the impact of the pandemic will continue to be felt by social landlords for some time.

“And they will continue to face other challenges as they work to build back the services they provide for tenants, and meet wider challenges around for example climate change and the development of affordable new homes.”