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The register of social housing

This content applies to England

Information about the register of social housing providers in England and the criteria for providers seeking registration and deregistration.

The national register of social housing

The regulator for social housing in England must maintain a register of social housing providers and make it available for public inspection.[1] Members of the public can view or request extracts of the register by contacting the regulator's registry unit.

The register contains information collected from registered providers, the lettings and sales they carry out, and their key spending, including:

  • type of homes owned
  • rent levels
  • tenant satisfaction with the overall service
  • tenant satisfaction with opportunities for participating in making decisions about the services provided
  • tenant satisfaction with repairs and maintenance

The regulator must give statutory consent on being notified about disposals of dwellings and land by private registered providers of social housing. 

Registration criteria

All local authority providers are automatically registered with the social housing regulator, ie without the need to apply. PRPSHs need to apply to register as a social housing providers and must:

  • be English bodies
  • be, or intend to be, providers of social housing in England[2]
  • satisfy the criteria established by the Regulator

These criteria are based on an applicant's financial situation, its constitution and other arrangements for its management. Non-profit making organisations are also required to have within their objects the provision of social housing, not-for-profit status and non-distribution of assets to members.

Apart from the requirement on the organisation's objects, the registration criteria are the same for both non-profit and profit-making applicants. Any organisation that applies to register, is eligible, and meets the registration criteria must be registered.[3]

More information on how to register with the regulator of social housing in England is available from the regulator.

Deregistration criteria

There are a limited number of circumstances that lead to compulsory deregistration. A provider will be removed from the register if it:[4]

  • is no longer eligible for registration
  • has ceased to carry out activities, or
  • has ceased to exist

A PRPSH can apply for voluntary deregistration on the grounds that it:

  • no longer is or intends to be a provider of social housing in England
  • is subject to regulation by another public authority whose control is likely to be sufficient (for example, by Charity Commission, Companies House or Financial Services Authority)
  • meets any relevant criteria for deregistration, including:

    • the arrangements to ensure the continued protection of tenants
    • the arrangements to ensure there is no misuse of public funds

Deregistered providers will:

  • still be subject to the regulator's consent rules for sale and transfers of housing stock unless there have been directions that any specified dwelling should cease to be social housing
  • still be subject to any conditions attached to the public funding imposed by the Home and Communities Agency (HCA)
  • be able to apply again for registration at any time

More information on how to deregister with the regulator of social housing in England is available from the regulator.

[1] s.111 Housing and Regeneration Act 2008.

[2] 'Social housing' means low-cost rental or low-cost home ownership as defined in ss.68-77 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008; 'provider' is defined in s.80 of the same Act.

[3] s.116 Housing and Regeneration Act 2008.

[4] s.118 Housing and Regeneration Act 2008.

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