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EXCLUSIVE: Golding Homes rapped for failings in electrical fire safety

Wednesday 19th February 2020

ONE of Maidstone's biggest providers of social housing, Golding Homes, has been served a regulatory notice for "high risk" failings over electrical safety, Daily Downs Mail has learnt.

The landlord did not complete more than 100 actions arising from fire risk assessments (FRAs) with the work left uncompleted for a "number of months".

Golding Homes, which owns and manages around 7,000 dwellings, identified a large number of "potentially dangerous" overdue actions, says the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH). We understand that the landlord self-referred to the regulator after an internbal audit found its health and safety compliance was "poor".

The RSH said the failings had the potential to cause serious and detrimental harm to its tenants and to breach the Home Standard which requires social landlords to meet all "statutory requirements which provide for the health and safety of tenants in their homes".

Maidstone Borough Council's head of housing, William Cornall, today wrote to key MBC personnel to say: "I write to inform you that we have been advised by the Chair of Golding Homes that they have received a regulatory notice from the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) in respect of areas of health & safety non-compliance, principally in respect of the fire and electrical safety, of some of their homes.

"Their Chair has assured the Council that they are working swiftly through an action plan to remedy the situation, and our two organisations will remain in regular contact on the matter."

According to an industry publication, Inside Housing, the RSH notice said: "In this case, the regulator has concluded that the risk of serious harm is demonstrated because of the large number of tenants potentially exposed to danger from fire or faulty electrical installations over a significant period of time."

Golding Homes' current top governance rating is now under review because of the breach but the RSH will work with the association to address issues going forward.

Chris Cheeseman, Chair of Golding Homes, said: “Golding Homes takes the safety of our residents extremely seriously and we have acted quickly to put this right, engaging with the regulator and getting independent expert advice on the work needed to ensure our homes remain compliant in all areas. We have also invested in resources to deliver this work in a timely manner, led by new Operations Director, Annemarie Roberts.
We wish to apologise to our residents and reassure them that their safety remains our top priority, now and always and we will be working to deliver on our action plan as swiftly as possible.
“We have completed Fire Risk Assessments for all the blocks that require them and are committed to addressing the priority fire actions by end of March. We can confirm none of the outstanding actions are related to cladding.”