Property expert Kate Faulkner (main pic) says new rules to introduce professional qualifications for social housing managers are a 'slap in the face for the PRS'� after years of lobbying for similar standards.
The government has announced that about 25,000 managers will now need a housing management qualification equivalent to a Level 4 or 5 Certificate or Diploma in Housing, or a foundation degree from the Chartered Institute of Housing following changes to the Social Housing (Regulation) Bill, in a bid to protect tenants and raise standards in the sector.
Faulkner, who runs Propertychecklists.co.uk, says she has been begging housing ministers to accept Regulation of Property Agents proposals for licensing and qualifications, to no avail.
'Why should a social tenant be treated differently to a private one? I've no idea why the government won't listen - perhaps they worry that agents would put their fees up, but it would make a massive difference,'� she tells LandlordZONE.
'The government is inadvertently supporting bad agents by not regulating, as these agents have to compete with the bad guys who undercut them.'�
The government believes the move will bring social housing more closely into line with other sectors providing front line services, including social work, teaching, and health and care services.
Under the rules, the regulator will also get tough new powers, allowing it to enter properties with only 48 hours' notice and to make emergency repairs - with landlords footing the bill.
It follows Awaab's Law, forcing social landlords to fix damp and mould within strict time limits. Any landlord who fails to meet the requirements could receive an unlimited fine.
Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove, says many social housing residents are not receiving the service or respect they deserve. He adds: 'The changes we are delivering today will make sure social housing managers across the country have the right skills and experience to deliver an excellent service and drive up standards across the board.'�