Association slammed for fire safety failings

The RSL received information from a third party which indicated Kinsman had not “adequately responded” to potential safety issues.

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A housing provider for ex-military personnel failed to “act with due diligence” in entering into its property acquisitions and activities in November – acquiring all its assets using the same arrangements and with the same investor.

Now, the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) has issued a second regulatory notice, slamming the association for being “extremely slow to act” over serious fire safety issues at one of its properties.

The RSH report confirms that information received from a third party indicated that Kinsman had not “adequately responded” to potential issues with the structural safety of many its homes, along with concerns about the safety of gas, fire and electrical installations.

Under to the Regulator, Kinsman has a responsibility to have a cost-effective repairs and maintenance service in place, and to meet all applicable statutory requirements which provide for the health and safety of tenants in their homes.

The resulting RSH investigation identifies that Kinsman were “notified” of the potential issues in a new building in January 2017, but did not put in place plans to carry out the necessary survey work until September the following year.

The Regulator further reports that, for a considerable period, Kinsman did not have assurance that its building was safe and that tenants were not at risk of harm.

To use regulatory or enforcement powers, as well as the failure to meet the standard, there should also be “reasonable grounds” to suspect that the failure has resulted in a serious detriment to the provider’s tenants.

According to reports, Kinsman is carrying out a programme of works to rectify these failures, working together with the Regulator to seek to address the issues which have led to this situation.

RSH is currently looking to consider what, if any, further action to take in relation to the breach.

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