A new standard in Tenant Satisfaction Measures comes into force on 1 April 2023. Here Intratone looks at how this new standard affects social housing landlords, and what technology is on offer to help meet the requirements of the TSM standard.
From 1 April 2023, social housing landlords will be subject to new levels of tenant accountability. This accountability comes from the UK Regulator of Social Housing’s new system to standardise Tenant Satisfaction Measures or TSMs.
Here Intratone looks at what tenant satisfaction measures mean for social housing landlords and how the Interactive Digital Noticeboard from Intratone can help meet the requirements of the TSMs.
What the Tenant Satisfaction Measures mean for social housing landlords
The UK Government’s ‘Charter for Social Housing Residents’ has been several years in the making, first being published in 2020. The underlying remit of the charter is the improvement of social housing across the UK. One of the core features of the charter is to develop a standardised system of landlord accountability. To achieve this, the charter includes ‘Tenant Satisfaction Measures’ or TSMs. A consultation paper on the TSMs was released on 9 December 2021; the consultation period closed on 3 March 2022.
The consultation attracted 1,098 responses from social housing tenants, councils, housing associations and others in the sector. The outcome of this consultation was finally published on 21 September 2022.
The consultation outcome was consensus, with the paper authors concluding:
“The majority of respondents supported the proposed TSMs and considered that the TSM suite would work in providing rounded information to tenants about their landlord’s performance.”
Now that the consultation period is complete, the next step will be the enforcement of the new TSM requirements. In total, there will be 22 TSMs that social housing landlords must adhere to. The Social Housing Regulator is expected to include the TSM Standard as part of the regulatory consumer standards.
Main areas covered by the TSMs
One of the reasons for the development of standardised TSMs has been the previously ad hoc way social landlords have produced and published performance information. This non-standard way of providing performance data has made landlord performance more difficult for tenants to interpret. The new tenant surveys and landlord data cover five main areas:
- Building safety
- Respectful and helpful tenant engagement
- Responsible neighbourhood management.
What do the 22 TSMs cover?
The consultation has resulted in 22 TSMs covering 12 tenant perception measures (TPMs) and ten management information (MI) measures:
- Overall satisfaction (one TPM)
- Keeping properties in good repair (two MIs and three TPMs)
- Maintaining Building Safety (five MIs and one TPM)
- Respectful and Helpful Engagement (three TPMs)
- Effective Handling of complaints (two MIs and one TPM)
- Responsible neighbourhood management (one MI and three TPMs)
Tenant perception surveys and TSMs
One of the questions highlighted in the consultation paper on TSMs was the concept of a tenant perception survey: a tenant perception survey is used to generate the TSM. Over three-quarters of the consultation paper respondents agreed that these sorts of surveys were good. From this insight, a publication setting out the scope of tenant surveys was released in readiness for April 2023. The paper describes the survey framework needed to generate tenant perception measures. The report also details the responses used from surveys to generate the TSM score.
There are twelve survey questions, an example being:
Area: TP04: Satisfaction that the home is well maintained
Question: How satisfied or dissatisfied are you that [your landlord] provides a home that is well maintained?’
- Very satisfied
- Fairly satisfied
- Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
- Fairly dissatisfied
- Very dissatisfied
Who must comply with the TSM requirements?
The tenant satisfaction measures will cover rented social housing in England if the landlord is registered with a ‘registered provider.’ Also, some of the TSMs will cover shared ownership homes.
Different requirements impact landlords with more than or less than 1000 homes. For example, landlords with over 1000 must submit TSM results to the regulator annually. In contrast, those with under 1000 homes must carry out and publish results from tenant perception surveys every two years.
The full list of registered providers can be found here.
Timeline of TSM data publication
- 1 April 2023: New TSM requirements come into force, and landlords must begin to collect data for tenant satisfaction measures.
- Summer 2024: Landlords with 1,000 or more homes will send their first year of TSM data to the Regulator of Social Housing.
- Autumn 2024: TSM data published. The publication of TSM data will continue to be published regularly.
How to meet the TSM requirements
The TSM guidelines define how surveys are designed and delivered to tenants. Tenant perception surveys are core to meeting the TSM requirements. The Regulator of Social Housing states this on collecting the tenant surveys:
“Providers must ensure that they employ a suitable level of expertise to design and apply a survey methodology to generate tenant perception measures in a way that meets the requirements of this document.”
Designing and developing the tenant surveys requires time and resources to understand how to configure them to meet the requirements and how best to deliver surveys and interpret the results. Then, once you have gathered the tenant responses, you must prepare them for publication and submission to the regulator. Fortunately, Intratone has done all the hard work for you in the form of our latest offering, Intratone’s Interactive Digital Noticeboard.
Intratone’s Interactive Digital Noticeboard.
The interactive Digital Noticeboard (DNB) is specifically designed to allow accessible and interactive communication between landlords and housing association tenants. It’s the perfect introduction to the concept of the TSM process and a valuable tool for ensuring tenant involvement in the wider initiative.
With Intratone’s Interactive Digital Noticeboard, housing managers can remotely pose anonymous TSM-themed questions every time tenants enter and exit their property. It’s a great way to give tenants a taste of what awaits them in the official survey, demonstrating that it’s a painless process and that their opinions are valued and listened to.
Furthermore, our DNBs can act as invaluable daily reminders of the need to complete the official TSM survey when it comes into effect in the summer of 2024. By being able to update these devices remotely, housing managers can begin a dialogue with tenants, reminding them (in a playful manner, perhaps) of the urgent need to complete the forms.
With our DNBs, there’s no need to waste time chasing tenants for participation. Nor is there a need to waste money and valuable resources on wasteful leafleting reminders. Instead, just upload messages remotely to one of our cutting-edge devices and your messaging is guaranteed to be seen.
Let’s be honest, whilst the benefits of TSM regulation will be far and wide, the initial rollout will not be without its challenges. The good news is that, thanks to Intratone, the management of that process just got a whole lot easier.