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TSA backs Government focus on tenant empowerment

"We especially welcome the Government’s focus on tenant empowerment. Tenants up and down the country have told us that they want a greater say in the services they receive and we look forward to continuing to work with tenants and landlords to develop a standard to meet these needs."

On housing association rents, Peter Marsh said: "We expect many tenants will want to benefit from low inflation next year, especially after this year saw an average 5.5% rent rise – or nearly £4 a week. 

"But we must be mindful of the risks arising from deflation in the current Government rent formula, as the continued financial viability of landlords is critical to their ability to provide quality services for their tenants. It is also important for their ability to continue to develop and provide new homes for future tenants.

"With the Government now consulting on setting a "floor" of -2% in the rents formula, we expect associations to be assessing the impact of falling inflation and developing robust plans to maintain a sound financial position without compromising on service quality. We know some associations have already prepared their business plans to cope with a reduction of rents of more than 2%, while others face some tough choices in the months ahead.

"We recognise that the Government’s draft rents direction aims to balance the needs of tenants, landlords and the taxpayer. We will continue to work closely with CLG, the National Housing Federation and tenant organisations to ensure the right balance is found."

In response to the Government’s announcement on charging fees to landlords for the costs of regulation, Marsh said: "We are pleased to agree with the Government not to move to a fee-based regulatory regime until at least 2011, especially in these challenging economic times for both tenants and landlords. We and the Government are keen to provide certainty to landlords and their tenants on this issue.

"We will ensure our activities and costs are open and transparent irrespective of the timing of fees. For 2010/11, we plan to issue cost and value statements to all of our regulated bodies to ensure we’re held to account for the work we do on behalf of tenants and landlords in England."

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