Tenants to have vital role in shaping new panels
Tenants’ organisations will play an integral role in producing guidance for new tenant panels.
A programme agreed between the National Tenant Organisations and the government will see tenants joining to produce a framework for local tenant panels to hold landlords to account.
The Department for Communities and Local Government has pledged £20,000 from the Tenant Empowerment Grant to publish the framework in early 2012 as the Localism Bill begins to be implemented.
The framework will establish a programme of front runners to test out approaches and develop a document to help landlords and tenants to form their own tenant panels.
The NTO, made up of National Federation of Tenant Management Organisations, the Confederation of Co-operative Housing, the Tenants and Residents Organisations of England and the Tenant Participation Advisory Service, are also planning to develop an accreditation system for the panels.
This will set standards and ensure clarity for tenants and landlords and will aim to drive up standards of tenant involvement.
Tenant panels are intended to replace the regulatory role performed by the Tenant Services Authority. Housing minister Grant Shapps announced his intention to scrap the TSA in October 2010.
Mr Shapps said: ‘This will be a valuable tool for those who wish take control of driving up housing standards in their area.’
Nic Bliss, project organiser and chair of the CCH, said: ‘Effective local tenant panels are important in the context of local self-regulation of services between tenants and landlords. We know that there are many different approaches to tenant panels out there, and we want to hear from tenants and landlords about good ones.’
Michael Gelling, chair of the TAROE, said: ‘Our programme is about setting principles behind tenant panels in partnership with tenants and landlords. We need to work together to ensure that the standards expected of local tenant panels are generally agreed.’
The news was announced today (Thursday) at the TPAS conference in Brimingham.