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Landlords handed regulatory downgrades over gas safety

Three housing associations that missed gas safety checks have been given regulatory downgrades but still comply with the Homes and Communities Agency’s (HCA) governance standard, Inside Housing has reported.

The three landlords -– Yorkshire Housing, Merlin Housing Society, and First Wessex- – have all previously failed to meet the regulator’s home standard because they did not comply with gas safety regulations. 

All three had a number of properties that had not had an annual gas safety check as required by law.

A spokeperson for Merlin Housing Society said each of its properties found to have an outdated certificate was serviced immediately. Peter Walters, chief executive of First Wessex, said it had changed its procedures and now has a 100% gas safety check record.

The HCA also upgraded the viability rating of Johnnie Johnson Housing Trust to a ‘V2’, meaning it is now compliant on viability; however, it is still non-compliant on governance.

The 4,960-home landlord received a governance downgrade in February because it had “an overly complex structure [that] had weakened governance arrangements”.

It had made improvements – including strengthening its board, stabilising its business and carrying out a stock condition survey – but was still rated as ‘G3.’

However, the HCA upgraded its viability rating to a compliant ‘G2’ and said it is working towards full compliance.

Chapter 1 and Johnnie Johnson Housing Trust also failed to meet rules around value for money. This brought the number of landlords found to breach the value for money rules in 2013/14 to 10.

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