The SHR celebrates its fifth anniversary
April 2017 sees our fifth anniversary as the independent regulator of Scottish social landlords. We have just one statutory objective: to safeguard and promote the interests of tenants, homeless people and others who use social landlords' services.
There's much to look back on from another busy year. Getting more information to tenants about their landlords' performance against the Scottish Social Housing Charter remained a priority. Last August we published our third suite of landlord reports for every Scottish social landlord. We updated our online comparison tool, which lets tenants compare their landlord's performance over time and against others.
We published a report looking at how landlords performed in 2015/16. It showed they continue to perform well across almost all the Charter's standards and outcomes. Overall, landlords continue to deliver good services and tenant satisfaction remains high. Nine out of ten tenants are satisfied with their landlord's overall service.
Last May we published our new plan for involving tenants in our work. This restates our commitment to tenants being at the heart of our work, building on existing initiatives.
We continued to work with our national panel of tenants and service users, which has almost 500 members and lets us hear directly about tenants' priorities. The panel has highlighted tenants' concerns about future rent affordability and what makes for tenants being 'satisfied customers'. The quality of homes, affordable rent and speed of emergency repairs feature highly.
We recruited tenant advisors as another way of bringing a tenant's perspective to our work. This built on the work of our previous tenant assessors who worked successfully with us for 10 years. Tenant advisors are also involved in our scrutiny of individual landlords and help us test landlord services, through activities such as mystery shopping and reviewing landlords' websites and publications.
We speak directly to tenant organisations and meet regularly with our Registered Tenant Organisation liaison group. And our board members are midway through a cycle of meetings with each regional network. In the last year we've also spoken at both TPAS and TIS conferences.
Talking to tenants helps us understand what's important to them, and we reflect this in our work. For example, we published a report in late 2016 highlighting the importance of landlords consulting with tenants annually on rent levels. The report included recommendations for landlords about understanding what is affordable for tenants, asking tenants how they want to be consulted and telling tenants how their views have been considered.
Involving tenants and other service users directly helps make sure we stay focused on the issues that matter to them. This will continue to be key to our work.
Find out more about the regulator and its work at www.scottishhousingregulator.gov.uk where you can also sign up for a regular electronic newsletter, ' SHR Update' and follow @ SHR_news on Twitter.
To contact the Scottish Housing Regulator about any of the issues raised call 0141 242 5642.
Email: Annabel MacMillan