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Dudley Council is taking action to improve the quality of data it holds on its housing stock after an internal review found it was not consistently accurate or up to date.

In March, the council referred itself to the Regulator of Social Housing after discovering longstanding issues with data quality and performance reporting, dating back up to ten years.

This meant we were unable to evidence previously reported figures in a number of areas, including health and safety undertakings in some properties.

This doesn’t mean the checks haven’t happened in the past, it’s that the council doesn’t have full records in one place to be sure the information it has is right.

We realise this may cause concern to residents, but we want to assure you the council is taking swift action to carry out these compliance checks, get records up to date and address any work needed.

A programme of stock condition surveys on all 21,123 council properties, which had begun to be commissioned last autumn, was broadened to include compliance checks on gas and electric systems, energy performance certificates (EPCs), smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and asbestos reports. A full data validation exercise is also underway.

The Regulator of Social Housing has now published its findings in response to the self-referral, confirming the council’s own assessment that it could not provide assurance it had consistently complied with statutory health and safety requirements across several areas.

It concluded the council had breached the Home Standard with the potential for serious detriment to tenants and has issued a Regulatory Notice. However, it does not intend to take statutory action at this time, recognising the programme put in place to address the issues.

If you’re a tenant and would like to speak to us about any concerns, please call Dudley Council Plus on 0300 555 2345.