In October 2023, under the Social Housing (Regulation) Act 2023, and following the approval of a revised Housing Ombudsman Scheme by the Secretary of State, the Housing Ombudsman has gained greater powers to force social landlords to evaluate policies and practices in a bid to prevent repeated service failures.
The watchdog, which handles complaints from social housing tenants, has had its powers substantially expanded and it can now order social landlords (including councils and housing associations) to evaluate particular policies and practices.
The Ombudsman says its new powers mean it can go beyond the scope of individual complaints to address wider issues. This will also help the Ombudsman monitor compliance with orders it has made, as it can be more prescriptive in what it wants to see in certain policy reviews and who it might want involved in that.
The Ombudsman has published the updated remedies guidance outlining these changes.