Tenant Services Authority scutinises landlords hit by sales slump

Six housing associations are on the regulator’s watchlist, a committee of MPs has been told.

The six, which are large to medium sized associations, are amongst 80 which are reliant on low cost housing sales to make a surplus.

Peter Marsh, chief executive of the Tenant Services Authority, said: “There are six on our watch list that are not in intensive care but subject to more regulatory scrutiny than is normally the case.”

He told the Communities and Local Government select committee that the regulator met with the six on a weekly basis and looked at their cashflows as well as talking to their boards and lenders. He said their problems needed to be tackled within six months.

In total the Homes and Communities Agency funds 250 housing associations.

The TSA is also working on a paper with the department for communities and local government about some of the problems housing associations are facing in dealing with banks. The paper will be ready for the Treasury in the new year. A number of housing associations have faced big hikes in the cost of their borrowings when their banks attempted to reprice existing loan deals. David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, mentioned one association which was set to save £300,000 a year by restructuring its organisation but had to abandon the plan when its bank threatened to put up its loan costs by £1.9m a year if it made the change.