Regulator threatens small social landlord with de-registration

The Regulator of Social Housing has told Larch Housing Association that it faces being de-registered.

Larch, based in Leigh-on-Sea, is set for de-registration - meaning it will no longer be recognised as a social landlord - under section 118 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 once a 28 days’ notice period ends. Larch can make representations during that time.

The regulator’s report said Larch had “been in persistent breach of the Governance and Financial Viability Standard since November 2019”.

During that time it had failed to demonstrate that it was viable on an ongoing basis, or could meet regulatory standards.

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Larch was registered in July 2012 as a not-for-profit provider and as of March 2021 owned and managed five units of social housing, and 261 units of non-social housing.

An earlier regulatory report in July 2020 found Larch “continues to be unable to achieve its income forecasts and this has placed significant stress on its cashflow.

“As a result, Larch remains unable to meet its obligations under its lease arrangements as and when they fall due; a situation that has been ongoing for a significant period.

“Larch is currently reliant on the continued support of its head landlords forgoing lease payments in order to continue to trade.”

Larch has been approached for comment.

Mark Smulian

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