Although plans were in place to deal with all these issues, it was clear that our position did not meet the required standards.
Because of this, on 25 February we referred ourselves to the Regulator of Social Housing, the national body which oversees social landlords like us.
We take residents’ safety extremely seriously, so referring ourselves at the time was the sensible action to take. By voluntarily contacting the regulator, we took the lead in instigating improvements and were transparent about the need for immediate action.
Regulator publishes its findings
The Regulator of Social Housing has now published its findings in response to our self-referral. It confirmed our assessment and concluded that we could not provide assurance that we had consistently complied with statutory health and safety requirements across a number of areas.
This largely centres on two issues. Firstly, while the majority of our safety checks were complete, we fell behind in completing and verifying some of our safety checks. We are however now fully up to date on inspections and have completed the necessary gas and fire safety checks. 6,000 follow-up checks on various technical aspects of our buildings will be completed over the coming year.
Secondly, we also need to improve our data systems, policies and processes to ensure that all required safety checks including gas, electricity and water are recorded and monitored.
Why has this happened?
Several factors have led us to this point, and the COVID-19 pandemic played a substantial part. For example, lockdowns and social distancing rules made it impossible for us to complete annual gas safety checks in the homes of some residents who were isolating. That created a backlog in completing checks, which immediately put us in breach of the necessary standards.
We have already begun rapidly addressing the shortcomings. We have implemented an action plan to improve performance on all aspects of our safety work, with checks in place to ensure that is effective. Residents may already have noticed work being done in the communal areas of your buildings.
We apologise for any concern that this news might cause our residents. We are taking this issue very seriously and have prioritised and completed all of the most important tasks. We are working to complete the remaining actions, to make sure our homes reach the highest safety standards.
Get in touch
If you are one of our tenants or leaseholders and you have concerns about the safety of your home or building, please call our repairs team on 020 8825 5682. You can also book repairs online.