How will the new consumer regulations help to address the issues in our sector?
20 / 03 / 2024

How will the new consumer regulations help to address the issues in our sector?

In April, we’re set to see the implementation of the new consumer regulations. To help you prepare for these and to minimise any potential adverse effects it could have on your housing association, we’ve collated the updated regulations, so you can be fully up to date with what to expect.

We’ll discuss the challenges landlords are facing, the new style of IDAs and what this means in practice; ultimately, it’s all about having transparent communication, knowing your stock and knowing and understanding your customers. 

Consumer regulation in practice: What are the changes being introduced?

There will be four new consumer standards being brought in in April:

  • Safety and quality
  • Transparency, influence and accountability
  • Neighbourhood and community
  • Tenancy

The new style IDA process, will consider the new consumer standards alongside the existing governance and financial measures. There will be a much greater focus on ensuring that any issues raised by tenants are being heard appropriately equally the landlord is being transparent with the tenants.

Why are these new standards being brought in?

These new consumer standards will be the biggest business change in regulation we’ve seen for over a decade, coupled with this, we’re still experiencing the adverse effects of the cost of living crisis and 7% the rent cap. These issues are still providing challenges, such as,

  • The supply chain cost being higher than ever
  • A supply chain scarcity
  • Additional priorities, such as decarbonisation, means that we’re learning how we can do more with less.

With prices up and rents down, the sector is struggling with reduced revenue and with the cost of borrowing so high, it can be difficult to allocate resources. When looking at meeting future goals, such as decent home targets, understanding the current stock condition is crucial, especially with building safety and competing demands for asset investment (damp and mould, safety issues). 

The below video snippet discusses this is more detail…


What will this mean for HAs and what can be done?

Regulators will be looking to see if you know your stock, if are you receiving live data and working with that and if you are responding adequately to your customers. It can be difficult to have the capacity to do all of this so it really does help to have long-term business plans. Make sure you have a risk profile and that your VFM (Value For Money) metrics are showing that you’re weighing up the massive increase in spending alongside asset spending being higher per property; it’s all about having the capacity to do more with less.

With capacity being such an important issue, how to free up resources to do this is crucial. This video highlights this issue in more detail…

Your asset investment strategy should consider a long-term approach, whilst not ignoring urgent damp and mould issues for example, but addressing a way to secure asset investment capacity in the long run. If this isn’t addressed then it creates two potential issues, one, that you will end up returning to the same property again and again and two, you will drive up contact through the contact centre which will stretch resources and potentially drive up maladministration cases. 

At a time when contact centre call volumes are at the highest they’ve ever been and, as a result, complaints are at an all-time high, it’s essential to offer channel choice to your customers. Mis-aligned tech and digital immaturity means enough capacity isn’t being freed up and we need to make sure that we’re still servicing the needs of those who are not as tech-savvy as others. 


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Trust is at an all-time low and tenants are feeling that they’re not being heard and all the key indicators are showing satisfaction is at an all time low, coupled with contact centres in crisis. There are some areas where they’re still feeling the pandemic lag, with only a slight uptick in satisfaction. With these issues in mind, changes need to be made to help associations adhere to the new consumer regulations and to offer a better service to customers. To help solve the issues of a lack of capacity, and low levels of trust - we need to transform the customer experience by offering digital as a channel of choice, offering interactive engagement and transparency.

Overcoming barriers

There are a number of things that can be done to ensure that your association can overcome barriers within the sector. These include:

  • Aligning a technology roadmap to customer experience and customer needs. Ensure that your customers have fed into this roadmap.
  • Understand your data and start to get on top of your data quality, consider how you may address data quality if your backend systems are unable to support you.
  • Ensure all of your departments are aligned with the same vision and goals.
  • Consider a baseline assessment, such as the Prodo CX Action Plan. 
  • Use best practice examples to demonstrate your gains. 

By understanding what the new regulations will mean for you and preparing ahead of time, you will be in a much stronger position to better serve your customers, in line with the new expectations for housing associations in England.

If you’d like more information about the new regulations, you can watch this video from the Prodo Video Hub.


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