Our guide to protecting social housing

  • Our new Housing Operational Risk Guide is designed to help landlords appreciate the risks that can cause the most significant losses
  • The guide is designed to assist social housing landlords in making decisions about key risks and risk profiling
  • The findings were gleaned from claims analysis, research with key stakeholders and the identification of key emerging trends

For social housing landlords, it is essential to gain an understanding of which property-related risks can cause the most significant losses to a portfolio when it comes to improving effective risk-management.

That’s why we have published a new Housing Operational Risk Guide , designed to help make decisions about key risks and assist in risk profiling, to protect your housing association.

Understanding key legislation such as the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is crucial to identifying and tackling the hazards that are most likely to be present in residential housing. Social housing landlords should always be HHSRS-compliant and incorporate it into management systems, policies and procedures.

Our Housing Operational Risk Guide is a valuable tool, focusing on the prominent property-related risks associated with significant loss. Its findings have been taken from a combination of detailed claims analysis, discussions with key stakeholders and the identification of key emerging trends.

Providing support

The guide is intended to provide support to existing and established procedures, and to offer clarity about key considerations and their impact on a housing portfolio. There is, for instance, a significant focus on fire risk throughout much of the guidance – which illustrates the degree of risk associated with fire and life-safety considerations.

The Housing Operational Risk Guide is split into seven main sections:

  1. Security – good security measures can help deter and prevent break-ins and acts of vandalism or arson
  2. Health and safety – a safe environment maintained in an efficient working order can minimise and prevent future incidents, such as slips, trips and falls
  3. Fire safety management – conducting fire risk assessments is of paramount importance to providing and maintaining acceptable levels of fire safety
  4. Fire prevention and risk control measures – electrical installation, appliances and equipment all present potential fire risks that require on-going management
  5. Water, storm and lightning damage – water damage is one of the major causes of loss in residential properties and protecting the interior and exterior of a building from water contamination – such as from floods, rain and escaping water from burst pipes – can ward off expensive repairs and the inconvenience caused by an incident
  6. Planned and preventative maintenance – robust maintenance regimes are essential to ensure vulnerabilities are not created, with the risk of potential losses
  7. Unoccupied properties – residential properties are more vulnerable to damage if left unoccupied, even if the vacancy is only temporary. Theft, wilful damage, vandalism and intrusion by squatters can all occur if a property lacks appropriate security

Each section gives in-depth guidance, and whether a portfolio encompasses just a few small converted residential properties, or contains many large purpose-built premises with ancillary occupancies, identifying what is likely to cause significant loss is key to mitigating risk.