Concept for - Changes to Social Housing Consumer Standards – A Quick Guide

Registered Providers (RPs) face changes in their legal obligations with the introduction of the new Social Housing Consumer Standards. These standards impose a range of requirements which will impact RP behaviour.

The Legislation

The Social Housing (Regulation) Act 2023 became law on 25 July 2023. This provided the Regulator of Social Housing with additional powers to deliver enhanced consumer regulation. Following a recent Government consultation, the Regulator issued the final consumer standards for all social landlords, including councils and housing associations, which came into effect on 1 April 2024.The focus of the changes are to improve the safety and quality of housing and enhance the importance of tenant engagement and influence in RP decision making.

These new standards are:

  • Safety and Quality Standard – requires RPs to provide tenants with safe and good quality homes and services. RPs must deliver repairs, maintenance and planned improvements in an effective, efficient and timely manner. 
  • Transparency, Influence and Accountability Standard – RPs must be open with tenants and treat them with fairness and respect so they can access services, raise complaints, influence decisions and hold RPs to account.
  • Neighbourhood and Community Standard – requires RPs to engage with other relevant parties in the community so that tenants can live in a safe and well-maintained neighbourhood, embedding tenant voices within decision making structures.
  • Tenancy Standard – sets requirements for the fair allocation and letting of homes and for how those tenancies are managed and ended by RPs. Overall, homes must be allocated and let fairly and transparently.

Regulation and enforcement

To enforce the new standards, the Regulator has been given new powers. The Regulator has new inspection powers and may regularly inspect larger RPs to ensure compliance with the regulations. RPs will be graded on their compliance.


RPs are now legally obligated to ensure the provision of safe, habitable and well-maintained living conditions for tenants. This means prompt action on issues such as dampness and mould.

Effective communication with tenants is paramount under the new standards. RPs must ensure transparency and clarity regarding tenants’ rights and responsibilities.

The changes also signify a shift in landlord-tenant relations by emphasising tenant involvement in decision making. RPs must actively engage tenants in decision-making processes and RPs will be looking at adopting innovative approaches to engagement tailored to meet the needs of their tenants which deliver meaningful outcomes.

For more information on the Social Housing Consumer Standards, and advice on how to comply with them, please contact our specialist Social Housing team.