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New TSA landlord comparison website shines light on housing association performance

New TSA landlord comparison website shines light on housing association performance.

Ever wondered if you are getting a fair deal from your landlord or how your landlord compares to others in the area?  Well, help is at hand as the national social housing regulator, the Tenant Services Authority (TSA), has released a new free web portal. Launched today, the portal will enable all tenants, by simply entering their postcode, to compare the performance of housing associations in their area. 

The portal will be a valuable source of information for tenants and prospective tenants, local authorities, housing associations, councillors and MPs.

The web portal contains six pieces of information tenants have told the TSA they would find useful:

  • Number of homes in an area, either homes within the local authority or by local housing association
  • Rent levels
  • Tenant satisfaction with the overall service
  • Tenant satisfaction with opportunities for participating in making decisions about the services provided
  • Tenant satisfaction with repairs and maintenance
  • A link to the regulatory judgement

TSA Chief Executive Peter Marsh said, “We have received lots of feedback from tenants who find it difficult to compare landlord performance.  The portal will enable them to hold their landlord to account by giving them information to ask questions about their landlord’s performance and how it compares to others in their area.  It provides tenants with an easy-to-use, free tool to ask landlords to explain where their performance is out of line with their neighbours’ and what can be learnt for from better performers to improve services for all tenants.

“The portal will also be an essential tool to aid stock rationalisation.  Councillors and housing association board members can now see how many homes are owned by each landlord in each local authority, which should help providers ask further questions on who is best placed to own and manage homes to deliver the best service to tenants in each locality.”

By opening up accountability and transparency, the portal also illustrates the need for improvement for some housing associations.  For example, there continues to be a significant difference between those landlords achieving the highest and lowest satisfaction ratings from their tenants – with up to a 25% difference between those in the top and bottom 10% of performance.

Access to the portal is via the TSA website - www.tenantservicesauthority.org.  No logins, passwords or subscriptions are needed to access the information. 

In addition to the information provided through the web portal, the TSA is also publishing today the full 2009 performance indicator (PI) results

For media enquiries, contact the press office on 020 7393 2094/2118/2115 or by email pressoffice@tsa.gsx.gov.uk

High resolution images of the web portal are available from the TSA’s media library – www.tenantservicesauthority.org/medialibrary

Notes to editors:
1) The Tenant Services Authority (TSA) is the independent regulator for affordable housing. It launched on 1 December 2008 and currently regulates housing associations. From spring 2010, subject to Parliamentary approval, the TSA will also regulate other providers of social housing, such as local authorities and arm’s-length management organisations.

2) The web portal contains information on local housing association landlords. The portal contains six pieces of information:
• Number of homes in an area, either homes within the local authority or by local housing association (filters can be applied)
• Rent levels (filters can be applied)
• Tenant satisfaction with the overall service (across the whole organisation)
• Tenant satisfaction with opportunities for participating in making decisions about the services provided (across the whole organisation)
• Tenant satisfaction with repairs and maintenance (across the whole organisation)
• A link to the regulatory judgement (if it has been completed within the past year) – which is a TSA assessment of landlord performance covering viability, governance and their management

This information is already in the public domain but feedback from tenants suggested it was not readily accessible.  Information is based on the latest date provided by landlords to the TSA.  Caution is required in making simple like for like comparisons given differences in data sources, methodologies and when the data was collected.

3) A further version of the TSA web portal will be released in spring next year in response to feedback to the first version. In line with the TSA’s new standards for social housing, the web portal will be used for tenant involvement and empowerment with the ultimate aim of helping landlords raise their standards of service.

4) The TSA appreciates that not every tenant has access to the internet and therefore is developing ways of making this information available in other ways.

5) Performance Indicator (PI) data provides landlord level performance information for all those with 1,000 homes or more.

The national PI results for 2009 demonstrate that on average RSL landlords are improving their performance in the areas that matter most to tenants.

• The sector continues to invest in its homes, working towards decent homes compliance for 2010. Over 91% of stock is compliant with the Decent Homes Standard and 20% of landlords in the PI data have achieved full DHS compliance.
• On average landlords achieve a 76% satisfaction rating for their repairs and maintenance services and over 80% on average for their overall service.
• There continues however to be a significant difference between those landlords achieving the highest and lowest satisfaction ratings. With up to 25% difference between those in the top and bottom 10% of performance.

The PI results can be found at: http://www.tenantservicesauthority.org/server/show/nav.14658

6) The TSA is consulting with social housing tenants across five million households and their landlords, as well as stakeholders, to develop new standards to improve services for tenants. The statutory consultation, which begun on 12 November, will close on 5 February 2010.

7) Initially the TSA will operate under the legal powers of the Housing Corporation while it consults on the powers set out in the 2008 Housing and Regeneration Act.

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