Find out the answer to your frequently asked question here. Alternatively, check out our Guidance section for more information.

What are my resident empowerment options?

Your basic options are founded on understanding what your landlord should be doing and then knowing how to influence what they do through shaping, scrutinising, challenging, complaining and managing.

Your landlord is required to ensure that residents are given a wide range of opportunities to influence and be involved in:

  • setting housing-related policies and strategic priorities
  • making of decisions about how housing-related services are delivered, including the setting of service standards
  • scrutinising performance and the making of recommendations about how performance might be improved
  • the management of your homes, where applicable
  • the management of repair and maintenance services, such as commissioning and undertaking a range of repair tasks
  • agreeing local offers for service delivery

To help you do these things your landlord is expected to:

  • support you to exercise your Right to Manage or otherwise exercise housing management functions, where appropriate
  • support the formation and activities of Resident Panels or equivalent groups and responding in a constructive and timely manner to them
  • provide relevant performance information to support effective scrutiny of performance in a form which should be agreed with you
  • provide support to build your capacity to be more effectively involved

How do I get my landlord to carry out repairs?

All social housing landlords have a duty to maintain their tenants’ properties and communal areas. They must provide you with details about how to report a repair by telephone, text, email, at an office or in another suitable manner. Where a landlord does not undertake repairs that are reported to it within set times, tenants have rights to complain and challenge the failure to properly maintain their homes.

What are my rights as a social housing resident?

Your rights are shaped by what type of organisation your landlord is. There are some basic rights that apply to all residents but your detailed rights such as how long you can live in your home will be shaped by whether you are a tenant or a leaseholder and whether your landlord is a local authority, a housing association or some other type of organisation such as a housing co-operative.

How do I get involved in my landlord?

Your landlord should publish a Resident Involvement and Empowerment policy which details how you can get involved; from raising concerns as an individual, to joining a residents association or panel, to taking on management of your homes and estates.

What are the external recourse options?

If you are not satisfied with how your landlord responds to your complaints, you have the right to refer your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman Service.

Also you may find that other people like Councillors and MPs or organisations like Shelter, the Citizens Advice Bureau and the Regulator of Social Housing can provide you with support and advice.

Ultimately you can seek recourse by contacting the media to let them know about problems or challenge your landlord through taking legal action in the courts.

What does the government expect my landlord to offer me?

The Regulator of Social Housing sets the guide on what government expects social housing landlords to do in its Regulatory Framework. The key parts of this are making sure that:

  • your landlord is well governed, financially viable, offers value for money for rent and service charges paid and that rent and service charges are set in accordance with government policy
  • your home and neighbourhood is well maintained
  • your landlord gives you the appropriate form of tenancy security, has a fair process for deciding who is given a home and has policies for helping with your rehousing or moving priorities
  • takes action to prevent and deal with anti-social behaviour, co-operates with other local organisations
  • provides you with information about its performance, resident empowerment options, access to an effective complaints process, choice and service flexibility.

How do I complain about my landlord’s performance?

If you are not satisfied with the service your landlord is providing you have a right to complain to them and they must respond to you within fixed timescales.

The Government has taken action to raise awareness of residents right to complain through its Making Things Right campaign. As a social housing provider, your landlord must be a member of the Housing Ombudsman Service which has published a Complaints Handling Code which sets out good practice for landlords about how to respond to complaints effectively and fairly.

What are the Tenant Satisfaction Measures?

The Regulator of Social Housing has published a range of 22 measures that landlords must report their performance against form 1st April 2024.

These Tenant Satisfaction Measures aim to ensure that you have access to information to understand how your landlord is performing and how it compares to other landlords so you can scrutinise and challenge poor performance and help ensure you get better services form your landlord.

How can I scrutinise my landlord’s performance?

The key way to scrutinise your landlord is by getting involved in their Resident Panel.

Effective resident scrutiny is driven by:

  • independence from landlord governance
  • accountability, openness and transparency
  • clear responsibilities that are agreed from the beginning
  • decisions being made freely and based on access to a range of information from different commissioned sources
  • an ability to shape the parameters of the information the landlord collects
  • embedding resident scrutiny into formal performance, operation and assessment frameworks
  • raising the profile of scrutiny and making as many residents aware as possible of what it is and how to get involved
  • an effective approach to deciding what areas are scrutinised and what evidence will inform decisions

How do I get involved in a resident association?

A Residents Association is a group of people who live in a neighbourhood, and decide that they want to get together to deal with issues that affect their local community. The group can include tenants, shared owners, leaseholders and homeowners.

Resident Associations set up with a set of simple rules, usually known as a constitution which sets out the aims of the group and how it will work towards achieving those aims. The constitution will cover at least the following key issues:

  • membership – which should be open to all residents in the defined area which the group is representing
  • voting – all members will have an equal vote
  • representation – all members should actively seek to represent the various needs of the area and must not discriminate on the grounds of nationality, political opinion, race, religious opinion, gender, age, sexuality, disability or any other basis
  • conduct – members should at all times conduct themselves in a reasonable manner when attending meetings.

How do I set up a Tenant Management Organisation (TMO)?

If you are a local authority tenant or leaseholder you have a legal Right to Manage your estate; you can set up a TMO by serving a Right to Manage Notice on your landlord and arranging a resident ballot.

If you are a housing association tenant or leaseholder you do not have a legal Right to Manage but your landlord may agree to enter into a voluntary management agreement with them; you should speak to your landlord about what options it would support.

If you are a member of a housing co-operative you already collectively own and manage your homes.

Where does the money come from for residents to explore and implement their options?

Your landlord will need to fund its resident involvement and empowerment activities from the rent and service charges that you pay to it.

Whilst landlords face various financial pressures at the current time, they should not use those pressures as a reason for not involving you in shaping services, scrutinising performance and being able to challenge and improve the services you are paying for.

How is my landlord funded?

Social housing landlords are funded through three main routes; payments by residents (rent and service charges), debt financing (loans and bonds) and public funding (grants and benefits).

How do I access the Four Million Homes programme?

You can get involved in Four Million Homes by supporting our campaigns, accessing further information on our website and booking in to attend our webinars and training events.