Research by housing data specialist Housemark has given the social housing sector a first comprehensive look at the mid-year results of Tenant Satisfaction Measures (TSMs) in England.
Housemark surveyed its members on their TSM performance from April to September 2023. Its mid-year report includes all 22 TSMs, with data from 189 social landlords covering 2.2 million properties – half of all social homes across England.
The key findings include:
- Overall satisfaction has continued to fall, as it has over the past five years (85.1% in 2018/19, to 76% in 2022/23 and 72.3% after six months of 2023/24), indicating landlords are failing to meet tenants’ expectations.
- There are large variations in overall satisfaction scores depending on landlord size, household size and location. For instance the median overall satisfaction score for large urban local authorities is 62.3%, compared to 77.5% for smaller, often more rural, housing associations.
- Safety compliance TSMs average close to 100% across all five activities covered, with tenants largely satisfied that their home is safe and well-maintained.
- Satisfaction that landlords listen to tenants and take action averaged amongst the lowest TSM scores. Only 61% say their landlord listens to tenant views and acts on them.
- There is a poor perception of complaint handling, with just 34% of tenants satisfied.
TSMs represent the biggest change to English social housing regulation for more than a decade – with landlords being required to report standardised satisfaction and management figures for the year to March 2024.
TSMs allow landlords to conduct surveys using a variety of methods including telephone, online, face-to-face and SMS. Figures show that 77.7% of landlords used telephone as their main survey method while just 1% have opted for face-to-face, despite this option yielding more favourable results.
Interestingly, satisfaction with the sector’s repairs services averages around 15 percentage points lower in TSMs (74.5%) compared to the latest transactional post-repair surveys reported to Housemark.
With a downturn in overall satisfaction, it’s no surprise complaints are increasing. Housemark’s analysis shows London-based landlords record much larger complaint ratios (33.1 per 1,000 units) compared to landlords in the North (18.2) and the English median (21.8).
Jonathan Cox, Director of Data and Business Intelligence at Housemark, said: “This data shared by our members covers performance in the first six months the new TSM regime. While the full-year results may change, these mid-year figures highlight that tenants feel social landlords still have much to learn from complaints. TSM results show that tenants are not satisfied with complaint handling with many feeling that they are not being listened to.
“Also, while repairs performance is in line with Housemark trend data, the move from transaction to perception surveys for repairs satisfaction has resulted in much lower figures for many landlords. This is an issue that landlords will need to consider in future when deciding how best to gather their data.”
Housemark is holding an online briefing on mid-year TSM results on 22 November. This free event is open to all – Housemark members and non-members – and includes an exclusive look at how English landlords are currently performing against the TSMs.
To register for the free event, please visit https://www.housemark.co.uk/event/housemarks-tsm-mid-year-report-briefing.
Members have been sent the full TSM mid-year report via email. If you are not currently a member but would like to receive the report please click here to request a copy.