Self referral to the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH)
What is self referral?
Everyone living in an Adur Homes property deserves to have a good, safe and secure home, and our teams are committed to making this a reality.
But while many of our tenants and leaseholders live in properties that are of a good standard, some do not. That is not acceptable - and we know that we need to do more.
We carried out a review which made it clear to us that in some cases we are failing to provide the decent homes that all our tenants and leaseholders have a right to. As a result of that, we have referred ourselves to the national watchdog, the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH):
The regulator will now investigate to see whether the Council is meeting the consumer standards and if there is evidence of a serious detriment or risk of serious detriment to tenants. We're keen to work with the regulator to fix our problems and welcome the support and extra scrutiny this will bring.
In the meantime, we're continuing to carry out repairs and improvement work on our properties across Adur, prioritising safety issues. If you're struggling at all or need any help, we have lots of information on our cost of living pages:
Much of our housing was built more than 50 years ago and needs a lot of investment to bring it up to standard. That includes work to make our homes safer and more habitable, as well as more cosmetic improvements. We are working with very limited resources, because government rules cap how much we can invest in our properties.
We acknowledge that many residents feel that their concerns have not been listened to or their requests for assistance not adequately dealt with, and for this we are very sorry. The referral will assist us to do everything we can to improve this position.
As part of our improvement plans we aim to give you clearer information and will create easier ways for you to contact us when you need help. We are determined to make every Adur Homes property a great place to live, and we want to involve residents in that process.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Does this mean my home is not safe?
Not at all. We've referred ourselves to the regulator because we don't have data on the standard of all our homes, so we cannot evidence that they are safe. The safety of all our tenants and leaseholders is paramount.
Q. Are all Adur Homes affected or just some of them?
All our Adur Homes are affected by our decision to self-refer, as we are talking to the regulator about the whole service, not individual properties. We know that there are issues with the condition of some of our homes, although many are in a very good condition. The emphasis though is that we do not have the data to be able to demonstrate to the regulator that all of our homes are of a decent standard.
Q. You mention a review - can I have a copy of that?
We will be publishing our improvement plan shortly, which will set out where we need to do more, what we will do and when we will do it.
Q. What can the regulator do, and how will it help?
The regulator will review what we have done and what we are doing, and will tell us where and how we can improve the service we provide. It can also require us to take specific action if it decides it is necessary. The additional scrutiny of our work will help us to improve the service for our tenants and leaseholders by providing an outside view of what needs to be done most urgently. We welcome this open and transparent assessment of our service.
Q. Why now? There have been problems for a long time.
There have been issues with some Adur Homes properties for too long. Much of our housing was built more than 50 years ago and needs a lot of investment to bring it up to standard. That includes work to make our homes safer and more habitable, as well as more cosmetic improvements. National financial restrictions on rents set by a series of governments over many years have been exceptionally challenging and have limited the amount of money we have had available to spend.
Our teams are committed to doing the best job possible and have been working really hard in difficult circumstances. We also know we have not delivered good standards across all of our service areas. We want to work with tenants and leaseholders to put this right. Our new Director for Communities has recently started and undertaken a full diagnostic review of this service.
Q. Will I get a rent reduction if my home is not up to scratch?
Everyone living in an Adur Homes property deserves to have a good, safe and secure home. We cannot reduce the amount we charge in rent if we are going to make that a reality.
Q. Do I need to keep paying rent and service charges in this situation?
Yes. If you don't pay your rent you risk losing your home. Please continue to pay your rent and service charges as you currently do.
Q. Will this speed up how quickly my repair gets done?
We are focusing our repairs based on priorities around health and safety issues, how important they are, the impact they could have on tenants and also how vulnerable the tenants are. Some requests for repairs are delayed for a significant amount of time because other repair work is more vital. This is because safety and compliance work must take priority. We work closely with our specialist contractors to try to ensure repairs are dealt with quickly and efficiently, while causing the minimum disruption to tenants.
We will be changing our focus to complete repairs based on health and safety priorities, with health and safety work being our greatest focus.
Q. Will someone want to inspect my home? When?
We are not currently intending to inspect individual properties other than in the usual way if issues are raised with us or we decide that we might need to do urgent work.
Q. What is your overall plan for completing all repairs - how long could I be waiting?
We do not currently have a set timeline for completing repairs as we prioritise them based on how important they are, the impact they could have on tenants and also how vulnerable the tenants are. If yours is an urgent repair we will get to it as soon as we can.
Q. How can I give input to the regulator myself?
The regulator will look to see whether there is evidence of systemic or organisational failure by the Council, (ie a failure which is indicative of a wider breakdown in the provider's overall organisation and systems). The regulator has no role in resolving individual disputes between landlords and tenants. If there is any information which you would think is important to share with the regulator please contact it on:
- email email@example.com
- or call 0300 124 5225
Q. When can I expect to next hear from you?
We're working hard to be more open and transparent with you so we have launched 'Adur Together' a new newsletter that will give you information about self-referral and what we're doing to improve our properties for you. We're also going to be setting up meetings so you can speak to our teams face-to-face and we're also looking to find easier ways for you to talk to us when you need help.
Separately, we will continue to update you by post if we have information about issues connected to your home.
Q. What is your prioritisation scheme in detail?
Our priority is to make our tenants' homes safer. We carry out repairs based on priorities, especially around health and safety issues, how important they are, the impact they could have on tenants and also how vulnerable the tenants are. Some requests for repairs are delayed for a significant amount of time because other repair work is more vital. This is because safety and compliance work must take priority over cosmetic work. We work closely with our specialist contractors to try to ensure repairs are dealt with quickly and efficiently, while causing the minimum disruption to tenants.
We will continue to complete repairs based on health and safety priorities.
Q. Do I need to re-report issues I've previously reported?
No. We are continuing to prioritise our repair work, but there is no need for you to contact us unless we have specifically asked you to, such as to confirm an appointment.
Q. How do I find out what's happening with a repair I've already asked you to do?
If you contact us with details of the repair you have asked us for and the date you contacted us, we will investigate and get back to you:
Q. Will you now rehouse me?
Everyone living in an Adur Homes property deserves to have a good, safe and secure home. Many of our tenants and leaseholders live in properties that are of a good standard but some do not, which is not acceptable. We know that we need to do more to help them and we are working hard to achieve that. We are continuing and will be developing our repairs and improvement works on our homes to focus on health and safety and to bring them up to standard. However, if we determine that your home is not safe, we will work with you to fix this.
Q. What is the full timetable of planned repairs and improvement work that the letter refers to?
There is a planned programme of maintenance which we are continuing, and this will be updated and developed further as we work with the regulator.
Q. Are you prioritising damp and mould issues?
We are prioritising work based on health and safety, the impact it could have on tenants and also how vulnerable the tenants are. If yours is an urgent repair we will get to it as soon as we can. Not all cases of damp and mould are significant so we are not prioritising all such cases ahead of other work.
Q. How do I make a complaint about how long you're taking to fix repairs?
If you have access to the internet, the starting point is to refer to:
Alternatively you may contact us about an issue involving repairs to your home, please:
- email firstname.lastname@example.org
- or call 01273 263030
Q. Am I going to have to pay towards the cost of repairs?
We are responsible for the maintenance of some parts of our homes and our tenants and leaseholders are responsible for the maintenance of other parts. You can see which parts we are responsible for in our guides for tenants and leaseholders:
- Adur Homes tenants - Guide to the repairs you are responsible for (581KB)
- Leaseholder Handbook - A guide to your rights and responsibilities as an Adur District Council leaseholder (472KB)
You will not be expected to pay for repairs to a part of the building that is not your responsibility. To note we will be reviewing our approach to recharging over this year.
Q. I don't want to leave my home. Will you make me?
Asking people to move out of their Adur Homes property is always a last resort for us as we know how important being in your own home and feeling part of your community is. Where possible we will continue to complete repairs without the need for tenants or leaseholders to move out, but if we do need their property to be empty while the work is done, we will do everything we can to support the residents and make the process as easy and comfortable as we can.
Q. What about the Council's empty properties? Can I move into one of them?
We are committed to bringing all of our properties up to a decent standard, ensuring they comply with health and safety rules. This includes our empty properties, many of which must be improved before residents can be moved into them.
There is a large-scale programme to carry out this work. Once empty properties are improved they will become available for use again for people on the housing register or as temporary accommodation for tenants who we need to move out of their properties so their homes can be improved.
Need assistance with this service?
Get in touch:
Page last updated: 21 August 2023