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Regulatory standards contain the outcomes that providers are expected to achieve and the specific expectations of the HCA as regulator. The standards are classified as either ‘economic’ or ‘consumer’.

Regulating the Standards 2014 (PDF, 285KB) sets out our approach to regulation, including what providers can expect from the HCA as regulator, and an explanation of the questions we will ask, and why, when seeking assurance that our economic standards are being met.

In July 2014 we published an addendum to section 3.6 (PDF, 230KB) of Regulating The Standards updating our approach to seeking further regulatory assurance.  At the same time, we issued guidance (PDF, 156KB) relating to the Rent Standard which takes account of a new direction from Government which includes the provision that the regulator can permit waivers to elements of the rent standard. We have also published a series of Q&As answering commonly asked questions about the Rent Standard covering the conversion of dwellings let at social rent level to other levels of rent; continuation of Affordable Rent following the conclusion of the 2011-15 Affordable Housing Programme; and the provision of waivers under the new rent policy.

Economic standards

These standards apply to all registered providers except for local authorities. Providers’ boards are responsible for ensuring their organisation meets the economic standards. As regulator we have a proactive role in relation to economic standards and will engage with providers to obtain assurance that they are being met.

The three economic standards are:

  • Governance and Financial Viability standard
  • Value for Money standard
  • Rent standard

Consumer standards

These standards apply to all registered providers. We set consumer standards so that tenants, landlords and stakeholders know the outcomes that are expected. This is crucial if tenants are to be able to hold landlords to account effectively.  These standards therefore support co-regulation. Where necessary, they reflect directions issued to the Regulator by Government.

The Localism Act 2011 specifies the Regulator’s role in, and its approach to, regulating the consumer standards. Providers’ boards and councillors are responsible for ensuring their organisation meets the consumer standards. The HCA's role is limited to setting the consumer standards and intervening only where failure of the standard could lead to risk of serious harm to tenants (the  serious detriment test) as described in chapter five of The Regulatory Framework for Social Housing in England from April 2012.

The four consumer standards are:

  • Tenant Involvement and Empowerment
  • Home
  • Tenancy
  • Neighbourhood and Community

The standards are set out in The regulatory framework for social housing in England from April 2012.

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