Housing compliance

This page contains information and updates relating to compliance issues at homes managed by the council.

Letters were sent in July 2021 setting out how individual homes were affected. The council also issued a statement of apology to our tenants and leaseholders for not meeting all our responsibilities under the Home Standard.

We want to keep you updated and provide reassurance to anyone affected by the issues identified. On this page we have set out the position as of 8 November 2021. Further details are available in a report taken to the council's Cabinet Housing Panel on that date. 

Electrical compliance


Landlords are required to perform checks on the electrical systems in properties every five or ten years, depending on the property type. Our catch-up programme for individual properties is now complete, except for 249 to which we have so far been unable to gain access. We are now going through the process of gaining access to these properties.

Communal areas are now 100% compliant.

 

Water compliance


Housing blocks with communal areas require a water hygiene risk assessment, or an exclusion certificate where this does not apply. The catch-up programme is now complete, except for 15 blocks to which there are issues with accessing loft space. Once resolved we will be able to complete this work.

 

Asbestos compliance 


All blocks have been inspected for the presence of asbestos in communal areas.  Where asbestos has been identified there is a requirement to review that assessment to confirm nothing has changed. Those reviews have now been completed. Please be assured that if materials containing asbestos are in good condition and are not disturbed, they are not a risk. Any asbestos in your communal areas is easily identified and anyone carrying out works to the property will be aware of its location.

 

Fire compliance


Housing blocks with communal areas require a Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) which will identify the appropriate fire prevention and control measures required in each block. We carried out the required assessments in 2018 and a review of these is underway, with assessments being carried out now on priority blocks.  We have a programme to complete these by March 2022. We are having regular meetings with Hertfordshire fire service to update them on progress.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How do I find out if my property is affected?

We have written to all tenants affected to summarise the issues, explain how we have addressed them, and to clarify the next steps.

What is the council doing to make sure its properties are compliant?

The council is committed to a programme to achieve 100% compliance. We have written to every tenant affected to explain how we have addressed the issues, and to clarify what work is still outstanding.

When will the issues be fixed?

We have been working hard to bring our compliance up to date. The council is on track to be compliant across electrics, water and asbestos by September 2021. The ongoing review of fire risk assessments is scheduled to complete in March 2022.

Will I get a rent rebate / compensation for this?

We are working hard to bring our compliance up to date and the majority of issues identified have now been addressed. Our priority is to carry on with that important work, and this is not something we will be offering rent rebates or compensation for in line with the terms of our tenancy agreement.

Does this affect my insurance? Should I let them know?

Please refer to your policy to check this.

Will this delay repairs/planned work at my home?

No, all planned and responsive repair work is continuing as scheduled.

I rent a property from a council leaseholder. How can I find out if my home is affected?

We have sent letters to all council leaseholders affected. Please contact your landlord directly.

What can I do to keep my family safe?

There is no reason to believe that the issues identified have led to unsafe properties.

If you have any concerns about the safety of your property, you should follow the usual repairs reporting process to highlight them.

How were these failings allowed to happen?

We are working closely with the Regulator for Social Housing to understand what happened and, crucially, do everything we can to make sure it doesn't happen again. This includes putting new systems, processes, and staff in place to oversee our compliance programme.

Did the council breach regulations?

The council self-referred to the Regulator of Social Housing who found us in breach of the Home Standard. The regulator issued a regulatory notice but is satisfied the breach is being addressed.

Why did the council self-refer to the regulator?

As a responsible social housing landlord, we are required to manage our homes in accordance with the Home Standard. Once the issues came to light, we felt it was important to inform the regulator and work with them to bring our compliance up to date.

Where can I see a copy of the regulatory notice?

View the reguatory notice on gov.uk.

The notice mentions remedial actions from 2018 fire risk assessments. What are they and why weren't they done?

Any issues requiring immediate attention have been resolved without delay. The majority of remaining actions relate to the upgrading of flat entrance doors.

We started a programme to upgrade front doors across our housing stock in 2016, installing doors that carried the British Standard certification for fire safety. Fortunately, however, safety does not stand still and following increased national scrutiny on fire regulations, we paused our programme to source doors with greater fire resistance. This programme is making good progress with hundreds of doors installed to date.

 

Contact us if you have queries or concerns

 

Contact us if you have a query