THE CEO of Magna housing association, who apologised after a Free Press investigation revealed serious failings by the landlord, has been told to ‘consider her position.’

Rachel Gilmour, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Tiverton and Minehead, also called on the industry regulator to take further action, after they would not commit to an immediate investigation of the social housing landlord.

Mrs Gilmour said: “Many of the people impacted by the failures of Magna live in Tiverton and Minehead, in towns and villages that I visit regularly. I have spoken to residents who have reported living with damp - and without central heating.

“I am disappointed that the regulator has not committed to taking further action at this time. What more evidence do they need than the CEO admitting the failings?

“Magna tenants rightly expect better of their landlord, and the CEO needs to seriously consider her position, to ensure current failings do not happen in the future.”

A spokesperson for The Regulator for Social Housing said they could not comment on individual cases, but said new powers set to come into force in April would impose stronger consumer protections on housing associations. In a statement they said:

“We aren't able to comment on individual cases, but we are clear that social landlords need to provide safe and decent homes for their tenants. They must listen to their tenants’ complaints and fix problems promptly when required.  

“From April 2024 we will have stronger powers to hold social landlords to account. We will introduce new consumer standards to help protect tenants and drive improvements in landlord services. And we will start to inspect landlords to check they are meeting the outcomes in our standards.” 

The watchdog has also not published a regulatory notice on Magna - which makes public a landlord’s failings - when it finds a social landlord has failed to meet their consumer standards.

New powers are set to come in to effect from April 1, when the regulator says, it will inspect all social landlords with more than 1,000 homes as part of a four-year programme.

Magna Housing, who were found to have left dozens of vulnerable tenants in unacceptable conditions, currently have a first class grade awarded to them by the regulator.

A spokesperson said the grade reflected the landlord’s financial viability, and that when new powers are granted to inspectors they will publish consumer grades for all large social housing providers.