Tenant Services Authority

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The Tenant Services Authority (TSA) was the operating name of the Office for Tenants and Social Landlords,[1] the former regulatory agency of registered providers of social housing in England.

On 1 December 2008 the TSA first took over the regulatory work of the Housing Corporation, inspecting housing associations and responding to concerns.[2] Its remit was then expanded to regulate local authority housing, ALMOs and housing cooperatives from April 2010,[3] almost 1,800 providers.[4]

The TSA closed after the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) took over responsibility for the regulation of social housing from 1 April 2012.[5]


In 2007, Professor Martin Cave, Director of the Centre for Management under Regulation at University of Warwick, led the most comprehensive review of English housing regulation for 30 years. Reporting in June, the Cave Review recommended that a new regulator be set up, separating the regulation and investment responsibilities of the Housing Corporation.[6]

After consultation with the sector, Housing Minister Yvette Cooper announced the Government's decision and the name of the new regulator as "Office for Tenants and Social Landlords" on 15 October 2007.[7] Its operating name was subsequently announced as the Tenant Services Authority.[8]

The TSA was established by section 81 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008. The same Act created the Homes and Communities Agency to take over the investment powers of the Housing Corporation. Both became operational on 1 December 2008.[9]

The equivalent powers in Scotland and Wales are held by the Scottish Housing Regulator and the Welsh Assembly Government.[3]


The TSA's chief executive, Peter Marsh, is the former deputy chief executive of the Housing Corporation.[10] Most of the other directors are from outside the Corporation.[11]

Approach to regulation[edit]

The TSA has more extensive powers than its predecessor,[12] and emphasises its role as "a champion for tenants".[13] Throughout 2009 it undertook a "National Conversation" with residents and other interested parties on how it should exercise these powers.

In March 2010 the TSA published a new framework of six national standards which will apply to all social landlords in England. The standards are based on outcomes for tenants rather than processes. A new approach of "co-regulation" means that landlords will work with tenants to regulate themselves. The TSA will end routine inspections of all providers. Where landlords are not meeting the standards, the TSA will hold discussions with them before using its powers of formal intervention.[4]


After the 2010 general election, the Conservative housing minister Grant Shapps indicated his intention to close the TSA. Its responsibilities for governance and financial regulation of housing associations passed to the HCA, but the Housing Ombudsman became the final point of appeal for tenants' complaints.[14]

In September 2010, the HCA was also included on a list of organisations being considered for closure.[15] However, Shapps announced in October that the TSA would be merged into the HCA.[16]


  1. ^ Framework document for the Office for Tenants and Social Landlords (the Tenant Services Authority)
  2. ^ The Tenant Services Authority, Quick Guide at Inside Housing, 20 June 2008. Retrieved 2010-06-18
  3. ^ a b CIPFA, Housing Finance Manual, chapter 1. September 2009.
  4. ^ a b TSA makes final preparations for new era of social housing regulation, 24dash.com, 16 March 2010
  5. ^ "Tenant Services Authority". Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  6. ^ "Every Tenant Matters: A Review of Social housing Regulation by Professor Martin Cave". CLG. Archived from the original on 2010-12-14. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  7. ^ "Next steps for new social housing watchdog". DCLG. 15 October 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-10-31. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  8. ^ Tenant Services Authority recruitment begins, AboutProperty.co.uk
  9. ^ New agencies will face 'huge challenges', Inside Housing, 1 Dec 2008
  10. ^ For tenants by tenants, says new TSA chief, Inside Housing, 4 July 2008
  11. ^ TSA team plucked from outside the corporation. Inside Housing, 7 Nov 2008
  12. ^ Our role on TSA website
  13. ^ "TSA's corporate plan puts tenants first". press release. TSA. 26 January 2009. Archived from the original on 2010-12-14. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  14. ^ Shapps to scrap Tenant Services Authority, Inside Housing, 18 June 2010, and interview
  15. ^ Document leak shows HCA is 'under review', Inside Housing, 24 September 2010
  16. ^ "Tenant Services Authority to be abolished". Press notice. 14 October 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2011. 

External links[edit]