Membership

There are two kinds of membership:

Mandatory membership

All bodies registered with the Regulator for Social Housing must be in the Ombudsman's jurisdiction by effect of the 1996 Housing Act and 2011 Localism Act. Registered providers of social housing are generally not-for-profit landlords (like most housing associations) but can also be for-profit organisations, as well as local housing authorities with housing stock (whether retained or managed by a third party, for example an arms-length management organisation).

Organisations which have been at any time registered with the regulator but subsequently de-registered remain in the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman. Mandatory membership covers all the housing activities of the bodies concerned as long as they are about the landlord and tenant relation, and all types of tenure (periodic and long lease).

Subsidiaries

Schedule 2 (1) (1) of the Housing Act 1996 states that a social landlord [other than a Local Housing Authority] must be a member of an approved scheme covering, or more than one approved scheme which together cover, all his housing activities. Therefore once a landlord is bound to belong to the scheme, this obligation extends to all its housing activities, including the activities of its subsidiaries. There is no requirement for each of the subsidiaries to be a social landlord.

If you have any queries about membership or would like any more information please email membership@housing-ombudsman.org.uk.