Housing and Planning Bill (HC Bill 108)

Housing and Planning BillPage 20

(2) The amount must relate to universal credit paid during the period mentioned
in the table.

In the order is made on the ground
that the landlord has committed
the amount must relate to universal credit
paid in respect of
an offence mentioned in row 1 or
2 of the table in section 38(4)
5the period of 12 months ending with the
date of the offence
an offence mentioned in row 3, 4,
5, 6 or 7 of the table in section
38(4)
a period, not exceeding 12 months,
during which the landlord was
committing the offence

(3) 10The amount that the landlord may be required to repay in respect of a period
must not exceed the amount of universal credit that the landlord received
(directly or indirectly) in respect of rent under the tenancy for that period.

(4) In determining the amount the tribunal must, in particular, take into account—

(a) the conduct of the landlord,

(b) 15the financial circumstances of the landlord, and

(c) whether the landlord has at any time been convicted of an offence to
which this Chapter applies.

44 Amount of order following conviction

(1) Where the First-tier Tribunal decides to make a rent repayment order under
20section 41 and both of the following conditions are met, the amount is to be the
maximum that the tribunal has power to order in accordance with section 42
or 43 (but disregarding subsection (4) of those sections).

(2) Condition 1 is that the order—

(a) is made against a landlord who has been convicted of the offence, or

(b) 25is made against a landlord who has received a financial penalty in
respect of the offence and is made at a time when there is no prospect
of appeal against that penalty.

(3)
Condition 2 is that the order is made—

(a) in favour of a tenant on the ground that the landlord has committed an
30offence mentioned in row 1, 2, 3, 4 or 7 of the table in section 38(4), or

(b) in favour of a local housing authority.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (2)(b) there is “no prospect of appeal”, in
relation to a penalty, when the period for appealing the penalty has expired
and any appeal has been finally determined or withdrawn.

(5) 35Nothing in this section requires the payment of any amount that, by reason of
exceptional circumstances, the tribunal considers it would be unreasonable to
require the landlord to pay.

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Enforcement of rent repayment order

45 Enforcement of rent repayment orders

(1) An amount payable to a tenant or local housing authority under a rent
repayment order is recoverable as a debt.

(2) 5An amount payable to a local housing authority under a rent repayment order
does not, when recovered by the authority, constitute an amount of universal
credit recovered by the authority.

(3) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision about how local
housing authorities are to deal with amounts recovered under rent repayment
10orders.

Local housing authority functions

46 Duty to consider applying for rent repayment orders

If a local housing authority becomes aware that a person has been convicted of
an offence to which this Chapter applies in relation to housing in its area, the
15authority must consider applying for a rent repayment order.

47 Helping tenants apply for rent repayment orders

(1) A local housing authority in England may help a tenant to apply for a rent
repayment order.

(2) A local housing authority may, for example, help the tenant to apply by
20conducting proceedings or by giving advice to the tenant.

Amendments etc and interpretation

48 Rent repayment orders: consequential amendments

(1) The Housing Act 2004 is amended as follows.

(2) In section 73 (other consequences of operating unlicensed HMOs: rent
25repayment orders)—

(a) in subsection (4), after “section 74” insert “(in the case of an HMO in
Wales) or in accordance with Chapter 4 of Part 2 of the Housing and
Planning Act 2015 (in the case of an HMO in England)”;

(b) in subsection (5)(a), after “HMO” insert “in Wales”.

(3) 30In section 96 (other consequences of operating unlicensed houses: rent
repayment orders)—

(a) in subsection (4), after “section 97” insert “(in the case of a house in
Wales) or in accordance with Chapter 4 of Part 2 of the Housing and
Planning Act 2015 (in the case of a house in England)”;

(b) 35in subsection (5)(a), after “house” insert “in Wales”.

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49 Housing benefit: inclusion pending abolition

(1) In this Chapter a reference to universal credit or a relevant award of universal
credit includes housing benefit under Part 7 of the Social Security
Contributions and Benefits Act 1992.

(2) 5Where a local authority applies for a rent repayment order in relation to
housing benefit, a reference in this Chapter to “rent” includes any payment in
respect of which housing benefit may be paid.

50 Interpretation of Chapter

(1) In this Chapter—

  • 10“offence to which this Chapter applies” has the meaning given by section
    38;

  • “relevant award of universal credit” means an award of universal credit
    the calculation of which included an amount under section 11 of the
    Welfare Reform Act 2012;

  • 15“rent” includes any payment in respect of which an amount under section
    11 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 may be included in the calculation of
    an award of universal credit;

  • “rent repayment order” has the meaning given by section 38.

(2) For the purposes of this Chapter an amount that a tenant does not pay as rent
20but which is offset against rent is to be treated as having been paid as rent.

CHAPTER 5 Interpretation of Part 2

51 Meaning of “letting agent” and related expressions

(1) In this Part “letting agent” means a person who engages in letting agency work
(whether or not that person engages in other work).

(2) 25But a person is not a letting agent for the purposes of this Part if the person
engages in letting agency work in the course of that person’s employment
under a contract of employment.

(3) In this Part “letting agency work” means things done by a person in the course
of a business in response to instructions received from—

(a) 30a person (“a prospective landlord”) seeking to find another person to
whom to let housing, or

(b) a person (“a prospective tenant”) seeking to find housing to rent.

(4)
But “letting agency work” does not include any of the following things when
done by a person who does nothing else within subsection (3)—

(a) 35publishing advertisements or disseminating information;

(b)
providing a means by which a prospective landlord or a prospective
tenant can, in response to an advertisement or dissemination of
information, make direct contact with a prospective tenant or a
prospective landlord;

(c)
40providing a means by which a prospective landlord and a prospective
tenant can communicate directly with each other.

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(5) In this Part “English letting agency work” means letting agency work that
relates to housing in England.

52 Meaning of “property manager” and related expressions

(1) In this Part “property manager” means a person who engages in English
5property management work.

(2) In this Part “English property management work” means things done by a
person in the course of a business in response to instructions received from
another person (“the client”) where—

(a) the client wishes the person to arrange services, repairs, maintenance,
10improvements or insurance in respect of, or to deal with any other
aspect of the management of, premises on the client’s behalf, and

(b) the premises consist of housing in England let under a tenancy.

53 General interpretation of Part

In this Part—

  • 15“banning order” has the meaning given by section 13;

  • “banning order offence” has the meaning given by section 13;

  • “database” means the database of rogue landlords and letting agents
    established under section 26;

  • “English letting agency work” has the meaning given by section 51;

  • 20“English property management work” has the meaning given by section
    52;

  • “housing” means a building, or part of a building, occupied or intended
    to be occupied as a dwelling or as more than one dwelling;

  • “letting”—

    (a)

    25includes the grant of a licence, but

    (b)

    except in Chapter 4, does not include the grant of a tenancy or
    licence for a term of more than 21 years,

    and “let” is to be read accordingly;

  • “letting agency work” has the meaning given by section 51;

  • 30“letting agent” has the meaning given by section 51;

  • “local housing authority” has the meaning given by section 1 of the
    Housing Act 1985;

  • “officer”, in relation to a body corporate, means—

    (a)

    any director, secretary or other similar officer of the body
    35corporate, or

    (b)

    any person who was purporting to act in any such capacity;

  • “property agent” means a letting agent or property manager;

  • “property manager” has the meaning given by section 52;

  • “residential landlord” means a landlord of housing;

  • 40“tenancy”—

    (a)

    includes a licence, but

    (b)

    except in Chapter 4, does not include a tenancy or licence for a
    term of more than 21 years.

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Part 3 Recovering abandoned premises in England

54 Recovering abandoned premises

A private landlord may give a tenant a notice bringing an assured shorthold
5tenancy to an end on the day on which the notice is given if—

(a) the tenancy relates to premises in England,

(b) the unpaid rent condition is met (see section 55),

(c) the landlord has given the warning notices required by section 56, and

(d) neither the tenant nor a named occupier has responded in writing to
10any of those notices before the date specified in the warning notices.

55 The unpaid rent condition

(1) The unpaid rent condition is met if—

(a) rent is payable weekly or fortnightly and at least eight consecutive
weeks’ rent is unpaid,

(b) 15rent is payable monthly and at least two consecutive months’ rent is
unpaid,

(c) rent is payable quarterly and at least one quarter’s rent is more than
three months in arrears, or

(d) rent is payable yearly and at least three months’ rent is more than three
20months in arrears.

(2) If the unpaid rent condition has been met and a new payment of rent is made
before the notice under section 54 is given, the unpaid rent condition ceases to
be met (irrespective of the period to which the new payment of rent relates).

(3) In this section “rent” means rent lawfully due from the tenant.

56 25Warning notices

(1) Before bringing a tenancy to an end under section 54 the landlord must give
three warning notices, at different times, in accordance with this section.

(2) The first two warning notices must be given to the tenant and any named
occupier using one of the methods in section 58(1) or (2).

(3) 30The third warning notice must be given by fixing it to some conspicuous part
of the premises to which the tenancy relates.

(4) Each warning notice must explain—

(a) that the landlord believes the premises to have been abandoned,

(b) that the tenant or a named occupier must respond in writing before a
35specified date if the premises have not been abandoned, and

(c) that the landlord proposes to bring the tenancy to an end if neither the
tenant nor a named occupier responds in writing before that date.

(5) The date specified under subsection (4)(b) must be after the end of the period
of 8 weeks beginning with the day on which the first warning notice is given to
40the tenant.

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(6) The first warning notice may be given even if the unpaid rent condition is not
yet met.

(7) The second warning notice may be given only once the unpaid rent condition
has been met.

(8) 5The second warning notice must be given at least two weeks, and no more than
4 weeks, after the first warning notice.

(9) The third warning notice must be given before the period of 5 days ending with
the date specified in the warning notices under subsection (4)(b).

(10) The Secretary of State may make regulations setting out the form that the third
10warning notice must take.

(11) In this Part “named occupier” means a person named in the tenancy as a person
who may live at the premises to which the tenancy relates.

57 Reinstatement

(1) Where a tenancy is brought to an end by a notice under section 54 the tenant
15may apply to the county court for an order reinstating the tenancy if the tenant
has a good reason for having failed to respond to the warning notices.

(2) If the county court finds that the tenant had a good reason for failing to respond
to the warning notices it may make any order it thinks fit for the purpose of
reinstating the tenancy.

(3) 20An application under this section may not be made after the end of the period
of 6 months beginning with the day on which the notice under section 54 is
given.

58 Methods for giving notices under sections 54 and 56

(1) This section sets out the methods for giving—

(a) 25a notice under section 54;

(b) the first or second warning notice under section 56.

(2) The notice may given by delivering it to the tenant or named occupier in
person.

(3) If the notice is not delivered to the tenant or named occupier in person it must
30be given by—

(a) leaving it at, or sending it to, the premises to which the tenancy relates,

(b) leaving it at, or sending it to, every other postal address in the United
Kingdom that the tenant or named occupier has given the landlord as
a contact address for giving notices,

(c) 35sending it to every email address that the tenant or named occupier has
given the landlord as a contact address for giving notices, and

(d) in the case of a tenant, leaving it at or sending it to every postal address
in the United Kingdom of every guarantor, marked for the attention of
the tenant.

(4) 40In subsection (2) “guarantor”, in relation to a tenant, means a person who has
agreed with the landlord to guarantee the performance by the tenant of any of
the tenant’s obligations under the tenancy.

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59 Interpretation of Part

In this Part—

  • “assured shorthold tenancy” has the same meaning as in Part 1 of the
    Housing Act 1988;

  • 5“named occupier” has the meaning given by section 56;

  • “private landlord” means a landlord who is not within section 80(1) of the
    Housing Act 1985 (the landlord condition for secure tenancies);

  • “warning notice” means a notice under section 56.

60 Consequential amendment to Housing Act 1988

10In section 5 of the Housing Act 1988 (security of tenure), in subsection (1)—

(a) omit “or” at end of paragraph (b);

(b) at the end of paragraph (c) insert or,

(d) in the case of an assured shorthold tenancy, serving a
notice in accordance with section 54 of the Housing and
15Planning Act 2015,”.

Part 4 Social housing in England

CHAPTER 1 Implementing the right to buy on a voluntary basis

Funding of discounts offered to tenants

61 20Grants by Secretary of State

(1) The Secretary of State may make grants to private registered providers in
respect of right to buy discounts.

(2) A grant under this section may be made on any terms and conditions the
Secretary of State considers appropriate.

(3) 25See also section 47 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 (which would
allow the Secretary of State to direct the Homes and Communities Agency to
use its powers to make grants of the kind mentioned above).

62 Grants by Greater London Authority

(1) The Greater London Authority may make grants to private registered
30providers in respect of right to buy discounts for dwellings in London.

(2) A grant under this section may be made on any terms and conditions the
Greater London Authority considers appropriate.

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Monitoring compliance

63 Monitoring

(1) The Regulator of Social Housing must, if requested to do so by the Secretary of
State, monitor compliance with the home ownership criteria.

(2) 5“The home ownership criteria” means criteria, specified in the request, that
relate to the sale of dwellings by private registered providers to tenants
otherwise than in exercise of a right conferred by an Act.

(3) The criteria may be expressed by reference to other documents.

(4) On making a request under subsection (1) the Secretary of State must publish
10the home ownership criteria specified in the request.

(5) The Regulator must provide such reports or other information as the Secretary
of State may request about compliance with the home ownership criteria.

(6) The Secretary of State may publish information about a private registered
provider that has not met the home ownership criteria.

15Amendments to other legislation

64 Disposal consents

(1) In section 133 of the Housing Act 1988 (consent required for certain subsequent
disposals), after subsection (2A) insert—

(2B) Consent in respect of a disposal of land in England may be expressed
20by reference to other documents.”

(2) In section 174 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 (general provision
about disposal consents), in subsection (3), insert—

(3A) Consent in respect of a disposal of land in England may be expressed
by reference to other documents.”

65 25Consequential changes to HCA’s duty to give grants

(1) Section 35 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 (duty to give financial
assistance in respect of certain disposals) is amended as follows.

(2) For subsection (1) substitute—

(1) The HCA must exercise its powers under section 19 to give financial
30assistance by way of grant to a relevant provider of social housing in
respect of any discount given by the provider by virtue of a person
exercising the right to acquire conferred by section 180.”

(3) Omit subsection (2).

(4) In subsection (3), for “(1)(b)” substitute (1).

(5) 35In subsection (5), omit paragraph (b).

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Interpretation

66 Interpretation of Chapter

In this Chapter—

  • “dwelling” has the meaning given by section 275 of the Housing and
    5Regeneration Act 2008;

  • “private registered provider” means a private registered provider of
    social housing;

  • “right to buy discount” means a discount given to a tenant of a dwelling
    on the disposal of the dwelling to the tenant otherwise than in the
    10exercise of a right conferred by an Act.

CHAPTER 2 Vacant high value local authority housing

Payments to Secretary of State by Local Housing Authorities

67 Payments to Secretary of State

(1) The Secretary of State may make a determination requiring a local housing
15authority in England to make a payment to the Secretary of State in respect of
a financial year.

(2) The amount of the payment must represent an estimate of —

(a) the market value of the authority’s interest in any high value housing
that is likely to become vacant during the year, less

(b) 20any costs or other deductions of a kind described in the determination.

(3) For the housing to be taken into account, see section 68.

(4) A determination may only be made in respect of a local housing authority that
keeps a Housing Revenue Account.

(5) A determination must set out the method for calculating the amount of the
25payment.

(6) A determination may, in particular, provide for all or part of the amount to be
calculated using a formula.

(7) A determination may provide for assumptions to be made in making a
calculation whether or not those assumptions are, or are likely to be, borne out
30by events.

(8) The Secretary of State must by regulations define “high value” for the purposes
of this Chapter.

(9) Regulations under subsection (8) may define “high value” in different ways for
different areas.

68 35Housing to be taken into account

(1) This section is about the housing to be taken into account under section 67(2).

(2) Housing is to be taken into account only if—

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(a) it appears in the list in section 74(1) of the Local Government and
Housing Act 1989 (Housing Revenue Account), and

(b) it is not excluded by regulations made by the Secretary of State.

(3) Where a local housing authority disposes of housing under section 32 or 43 of
5the Housing Act 1985 to a private registered provider of social housing the
Secretary of State may for the purposes of this Chapter—

(a) treat the local housing authority as still having that housing, and

(b) treat the housing as being likely to become vacant whenever it would
have been likely to become vacant if it had not been disposed of.

(4) 10A determination under section 67 must identify any housing that the Secretary
of State has taken into account under subsection (3).

69 Procedure for determinations

(1) Before making a determination under section 67 that relates to all local housing
authorities or a description of local housing authority the Secretary of State
15must consult such representatives of local government and relevant
professional bodies as the Secretary of State thinks appropriate.

(2) Before making a determination under section 67 that relates to a particular
local housing authority, the Secretary of State must consult that local housing
authority.

(3) 20As soon as possible after making a determination under section 67 the
Secretary of State must send a copy of it to each local housing authority to
which it relates.

(4) Section 87(4) to (7) of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 (electronic
communications) applies to a determination under this Chapter as it applies to
25a determination under Part 6 of that Act.

(5) A consultation requirement imposed by this section may be satisfied by
consultation carried out before this Act was passed.

70 More about determinations

(1) A determination under section 67 must be made before the financial year to
30which it relates.

(2) But the determination may be varied or revoked by a subsequent
determination under that section made before, after or during the financial
year to which it relates.

(3) A determination under section 67 may relate to one financial year or to more
35than one financial year.

(4) A determination under section 67 may make provision about how and when a
payment is to be made including, in particular, provision for payments by
instalment.

(5) A determination under section 67 may provide for interest to be charged in the
40event of late payment.

(6) A determination under section 67—

(a) may make different provision for different areas;

(b) may make different provision for different local housing authorities;