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Local tenant panels - the National Tenant Organisation project TAROE conference Walsall - 26 th October 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Local tenant panels - the National Tenant Organisation project TAROE conference Walsall - 26 th October 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Local tenant panels - the National Tenant Organisation project TAROE conference Walsall - 26 th October 2011

2 The Tenant Panel project misinformation out there about tenant panels we want to hear the views of tenants how was our project initiated & its context what do we mean by tenant panels? the issue of complaints what are we doing in our project? NTO approved! - setting standards how are we doing our work how tenants can keep in touch

3 The National Tenant Organisations CCH, NFTMO, TAROE, TPAS have been working together for several years worked hard to set up National Tenant Voice met with Grant Shapps MP in November 2010 he asked us to set up a tenant panel framework between then and July – developing the project with Government some debate with tenants and landlords key message – can’t be prescriptive - tenants will decide for themselves how to set up panels

4 “Tenants know the problems that plague their neighbourhoods, so I want to put them firmly in the driving seat, so they have more opportunities to have a say about how their services are provided. I want them to challenge landlords to up their game where improvements can be made. Tenant panels can be an effective way of doing this and resolving issues at the local level. So I’m delighted to support the National Tenant Organisations in the development of a flexible framework for local tenant panels. This will be a valuable tool for those who wish take control of driving up housing standards in their area.” Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP

5 The context a stronger Involvement & Empowerment Standard - which will refer to tenant panels but there will be very limited Govt enforcement for any of the “consumer regulations” self-regulation through tenants & landlords tenant panels a key part of that new framework in that context, we have to develop an approach that has the support of tenants and as many landlords as possible balancing being “robust” with moving on from where landlords and tenants are at now

6 Area-based tenant panels? some suggestions that borough-wide tenant panels for all tenants will be set up? we like the idea of area based approaches - it could put pressure on poorer landlords some area panels may set up, but not many will tenants want them? would they conflict with existing arrangements? who is going to set them up and fund them? and would they have sufficient purpose to make them more than talking shops?

7 So what are tenant panels? everything that enables tenants to “hold the landlord to account” a set of arrangements rather than just one group of tenants - that cover the key areas: scrutiny – service review - complaints our approach is to set out options from which tenants will choose … … and to define a set of principles behind tenant panels

8 NTO tenant panel programme Our Government funded programme: we are gathering information on existing approaches – we want to know about what you and/or your landlord are doing what we have gathered so far tells us that everyone is doing something different. Tenants and landlords have developed what is right for them – and that is as it should be.

9 NTO tenant panel programme we are supporting three collaborative “front runner” programmes – where groups of tenants from different landlords in the same area are looking at ways of working together only a few examples where this is happening examples of possible activities - joint scrutiny & inspection, joint tenant conferences & newsletters, shared training, benchmarking performance & policies, consideration of local authority strategies only a few considering complaints

10 NTO tenant panel programme the “democratic filter” – the Localism Bill says that from April 2013 tenants can only take a complaint to the Ombudsman by going through a councillor, an MP, or a tenant panel (designated by the landlord) this has not yet gone through Parliament and “options” are currently being considered there will be no other Government guidance (other than what the Ombudsman might produce) on how “democratic filter” will work we have told Grant Shapps we do not agree

11 NTO tenant panel programme we will setting out options for how tenants could be involved in complaints being there to help tenants get issues resolved helping tenants to take complaints through the landlord process (about 10,000 complaints go to the Ombudsman each year that have not been through the landlord process) involvement in Stage 2 & 3 processes assessing effectiveness of procedures the legal implications of tenant panels not forwarding complaints to the Ombudsman?

12 NTO tenant panel programme what can tenants do if a landlord is not complying with the regulatory framework? the “serious detriment” test will prevent most regulator (TSA/HCA) intervention the Ombudsman may be able to deal with collective “empowerment” issues how do panels work with councillors/MPs? using the media – landlords like good publicity and hate bad publicity

13 NTO tenant panel programme we will be producing a “document” early 2012 Government funded – with a foreword by Grant Shapps – the Government will not be producing any other guidance it will be a “pdf” on the internet to enable it to be updated a consultation version will be circulated to our “database” in November/December the document outline says what we might include – this may have already changed!

14 “NTO approved!” programme an independent assessment of basic principles carried out by NTO assessors a voluntary system to help tenants and landlords implement co-regulation aim to get most landlords/tenant panels up to the level of the best a basic assessment – deliberately set at a comparatively cheap cost of £750 plus VAT to enable landlords pay for their tenant panel to be approved

15 “NTO approved!” programme principles, commitments, systems, resources basic assessment of Tenant Panel, but also ensuring that the landlord is doing what they should do not a quality check – not looking at outcomes tenant movement led system aim to get support from the landlord trade bodies (National Housing Federation, Local Government Association, Nat Fed of ALMOs, Chartered Institute of Housing)

16 “NTO approved!” programme The four areas of NTO approved! 1.coregulation – holding the landlord to account 2.tenant leadership & understanding 3.access to all – Nolan principles 4.functioning structures & adequate support 50 component parts A checklist of what should be expected by tenants

17 What are we doing? engaging with tenants – regional meetings engaging with landlords - housing association sector, the local authority & ALMO sectors engaging with Government bodies seeking information on existing approaches developing a database – please tell us if you want to receive our updates – has to be e-mail both projects concluded by early 2012 consultation in November with our database

18 Local tenant panels - the National Tenant Organisation project TAROE conference Walsall - 26 th October 2011

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