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In our latest Impact Chat, Social Invest Director, Luke Cross, spoke to Fayann Simpson, board member at Sustainability for Housing and chair of L&Q’s resident services board.

Below are some of the key moments from our Impact Chat – but you can listen to the session in its entirety by clicking the link above.

Tenant/landlord relationship must adapt to the modern age

Fayann discusses the changing nature of the relationship between landlord and tenant during her 20+ years in the sector. She says there used to be a paternalistic dynamic which has lessened over time.

She also notes the rise of tech and social media and the role that these play in tenant/landlord relations.

Improving tenant/landlord dynamic requires openness

Fayann notes the strain that has been put on the relationship between tenants and landlords in recent years, particularly as a result of disrepair and building safety issues.

She says landlord need to be open and show humility. This involves taking ownership of issues as they arise.

ESG represents an opportunity to build relations

In her role for Sustainability for Housing (SfH), Fayann advocates ESG reporting within the social housing sector.

Fayann sees the social housing Sustainability Reporting Standard (SRS) as an opportunity to open up a dialogue on important issues with residents.

“It’s talking to people about issues that matter to them in their homes,” she says, and engaging with accessible, jargon-free language.

Resident engagement can help identify mutual priorities

Fayann suggests that the process of engaging with residents over ESG can illuminate areas that are most important to both tenants and landlords. This could be repairs, community investment or net zero.

“It’s about thinking of priorities of the organisation and thinking about where they align,” she says.

Proactivity is key

Fayann notes that changes around consumer regulation in the social housing sector are forthcoming and housing associations need to get a head start on this.

Growing issues in areas like damp and mould need to be dealt with. “Wait and see just won’t serve you because what is clear from the regulator is that change is coming,” she says.


Click here to watch Luke’s discussion with Fayann in full.