Magazine article Public Finance

Quicker Inspections 'Might Harm RSLs'

Magazine article Public Finance

Quicker Inspections 'Might Harm RSLs'

Article excerpt

Moves to inspect housing associations more rapidly and to give them less advance warning of visits by inspectors could be unfair on the sector, the head of the Audit Commission has warned landlords.

Quicker inspections were more likely to highlight problems and shortcomings in organisations, Steve Hundred, the commission's chief executive, told delegates at the National Housing Federation conference last week.

'The focus on failure could present a distorted picture,' he said during a debate on regulation.

Hundred added that many registered social landlords used the time they spent preparing for inspections as an opportunity to review their own performance. Nevertheless, changes to the regime were likely to be made from next April, while short-notice inspections could start next autumn.

Reforms to the inspection system were first proposed earlier this year when Sir Les Elton delivered his review of regulation in the sector. Most of his 84 recommendations have been accepted by the Housing Corporation and the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The Elton review is expected to lead to lighter regulation of the sector, with landlords being promised a 10% reduction in red tape if they are deemed to be performing well. …

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