Government's proposed service standards agreed between tenants and landlords will affect maintenance contractors

Maintenance contractors working on social housing may have to conform to target response times and agree time slots set by tenants in collaboration with landlords under new rules announced by housing minster, John Healey.

The moves come in draft national standards from the Tenant Services Authority (TSA) which social landlords will have to follow in rent period 2010/11. The standards were produced following a six month consultation process with tenants. Specific standards must be agreed between tenants and landlords in individual associations.

As reported by Building in March service standards will also mean that tenants will also be able to set priorities for neighbourhood improvements.

Healey said that tenants should also be given the opportunity to get involved in the management of their homes.

In addition tenants and landlords will agree local priorities that will become their own standards of what they can expect. These local standards should include details of how tenants can be involved in scrutinising performance and what happens if local standards are not met.

If standards are not met, the TSA will have new powers to slap housing associations with enforcement notices or transfer properties to another provider.