Our Obligations

This page explains what our obligations are and how we adhere to the Regulator of Social Housing’s Consumer Standards.

What our Regulator requires us to do

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In England, we’re regulated by the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH), an organisation whose role is set by Parliament and is accountable to Government.  The Regulator is responsible for economic regulation of social housing providers like Riverside, focusing on the way we are governed, our financial viability and the value for money we offer.

They also set standards around the quality of our homes and the way we provide services to customers and people applying for housing, and a new set of standards will apply from April 2024. These are called Consumer Standards.

Patrick New, Executive Director for Customer Service is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Regulator of Social Housing’s Consumer Standards at Riverside.

What are the Consumer Standards?

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The Regulator has also published a Code of Practice to help providers such as Riverside meet the Consumer Standards. We have provided a summary of the standards below:

  • Social landlords must have an accurate, up to date and evidenced understanding of the condition of their homes.
  • Homes must meet the Decent Homes Standard unless exempted by the regulator.
  • Social landlords must take all reasonable steps to ensure the health and safety of tenants in their homes and associated communal areas and must comply with health and safety legislation such as the Fire Safety Act 2021, Building Safety Act 2022 and associated regulations.
  • Social landlords must provide effective, efficient and timely repairs, maintenance and planned improvements services.
  • Social landlords must assist tenants to access appropriate services for adaptations.
  • Tenants and prospective tenants must be treated with fairness and respect.
  • Social landlords must take action to deliver fair and equitable outcomes to tenants and where applicable, prospective tenants, in relation to the services they provide.
  • Social landlords must engage with tenants in a meaningful way and take into account their views about landlord services. They must also communicate how tenants’ views have been considered.
  • Social landlords must communicate with tenants and provide information on using landlord services, what to expect from their landlord and holding their landlord to account.
  • Social landlords must collect and provide information to support effective scrutiny by tenants.
  • Complaints must be addressed fairly, effectively and promptly. Find out more about our complaints policy and process.
  • Social landlords must work cooperatively with tenants, other landlords and relevant organisations to take reasonable steps to ensure safety of shared spaces.
  • Social landlords must cooperate with relevant partners to promote social, environmental and economic wellbeing in the areas where they provide social housing.
  • Social landlords must work with relevant organisations (including local authorities and the police) to deter and tackle ASB and hate incidents.
  • Social landlords must work with other agencies to tackle domestic abuse and enable tenants access to appropriate support and advice.
  • Social landlords must allocate and let their homes in a fair and transparent way that takes into account the needs of tenants and prospective tenants.
  • Tenants should be supported to maintain their tenancy or licence.
  • Tenancies or terms of occupation should be compatible with the purpose of the occupation, the needs of the individual household, the sustainability of the community and efficient use of housing stock. They must meet statutory and legal requirements in relation to the form and use of tenancy agreements and terms of occupation.
  • Where relevant, social landlords must support tenants to mutually exchange.

The approach to regulation

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The Regulator of Social Housing’s overall approach to regulation is based on what they call ‘co-regulation’: this is the idea that the social landlord’s board is responsible for their organisation and should account for how it is run and the outcomes delivered, based on proper evidence. Read more about the RSH’s reshaped consumer regulation.

Inspections of landlords are used to help the Regulator form a view about how well a landlord is delivering the outcomes of all of the standards. The results of these inspections are set out in a regulatory judgement, stating the Regulator’s view of the landlord in relation to one or more standards. Normally this results in a separate judgement for compliance with the Governance and Viability standards, and from April 2024, the Consumer standards. The Regulator also collects information on how landlords are performing through a set of standard measures called Tenant Satisfaction Measures (TSMs). Landlords are required to share these with customers – you can find our TSMs on the ‘How we are doing’ page.

The Regulator has a range of powers to deal with landlords who are persistently failing to meet standards. These enforcement powers range from requiring landlords to put in place performance improvement plans and issuing enforcement notices, through to imposing unlimited financial penalties and removing and appointing Officers.


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Riverside Scotland is regulated by a separate body, the Scottish Housing Regulator. Whilst there are differences in how they go about their job, they perform a similar role to the Regulator of Social Housing in England.