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Contents page 130-3 140-3 150-3 160-3 170-3 180-3 190-3 200-3 210-3 220-3 230-3 240-3 250-3 260-3 270-3 280-3 290-3 300-3 310-3 320-3 330-3 Last page

Localism BillPage 140

(b) by the local housing authority to the Secretary of State.

(3) The Secretary of State may make a determination under this section only if
there has been a change in any matter that was taken into account in making—

(a) the determination relating to the settlement payment or a calculation
5under that determination, or

(b) a previous determination under this section relating to the local
housing authority or a calculation under that determination.

(4) A determination under this section may be varied or revoked by a subsequent
determination.

148 10Further provisions about payments

(1) A payment under this Chapter must be made in such instalments, at such times
and in accordance with such arrangements as the Secretary of State may
determine.

(2) Arrangements under subsection (1) may include arrangements for payments
15to be made—

(a) by a person or body other than the Secretary of State to a local housing
authority, or

(b) to a person or body other than the Secretary of State by a local housing
authority.

(3) 20A payment under this Chapter by a local housing authority must be
accompanied by such information as the Secretary of State may require.

(4) The Secretary of State may charge a local housing authority interest, at such
rates and for such periods as the Secretary of State may determine, on any sum
payable by the local housing authority under this Chapter that is not paid by a
25time determined under this section for its payment.

(5) The Secretary of State may charge a local housing authority an amount equal
to any additional costs incurred by the Secretary of State as a result of any sum
payable by the local housing authority under this Chapter not being paid by a
time determined under this section for its payment.

(6) 30A payment under this Chapter other than a payment under subsection (4) or
(5)—

(a) if made by a local housing authority, is to be treated by the authority as
capital expenditure for the purposes of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of the Local
Government Act 2003;

(b) 35if made to a local housing authority, is to be treated by the authority as
a capital receipt for the purposes of that Chapter.

(7) A determination under this Chapter may require a payment to a local housing
authority made under this Chapter to be used by the authority for a purpose
specified in the determination.

(8) 40A local housing authority to which such a requirement applies must comply
with it.

(9) In Schedule 4 to the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 (the keeping of
the housing revenue account) in Part 2 (debits to the account) after item 5

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insert—

Item 5A: sums payable under section 148 of the Localism Act 2011

Sums payable for the year to the Secretary of State under section
148(4) or (5) of the Localism Act 2011 (interest etc charged as a result
5of late payment of settlement payments etc).

149 Limits on indebtedness

(1) The Secretary of State may from time to time make a determination providing
for the calculation in relation to each local housing authority in England that
keeps a Housing Revenue Account of—

(a) 10the amount of housing debt that, at such time and on such assumptions
as the Secretary of State may determine, is to be treated as held by the
authority, and

(b) the maximum amount of such housing debt that the authority may
hold.

(2) 15A determination under this section may, in particular, provide for all or part of
an amount to be calculated in accordance with a formula or formulae.

(3) A determination under this section may provide for assumptions to be made
in making a calculation whether or not those assumption are, or are likely to
be, borne out by events.

(4) 20A determination under this section may be varied or revoked by a subsequent
determination.

(5) A local housing authority may not hold debt in contravention of a
determination under this section.

(6) In this section “housing debt”, in relation to a local housing authority, means
25debt—

(a) which is held by the authority in connection with the exercise of its
functions relating to houses and other property within its Housing
Revenue Account, and

(b) interest and other charges in respect of which are required to be carried
30to the debit of that account.

150 Power to obtain information

(1) A local housing authority in England must supply the Secretary of State with
such information as the Secretary of State may specify for the purposes of
enabling the Secretary of State to exercise functions under this Chapter.

(2) 35The Secretary of State may exercise the powers under this section either
generally or in relation to a particular case.

(3) If a local housing authority fails to comply with this section before the end of
such period as the Secretary of State may specify, the Secretary of State may
exercise functions under this Chapter on the basis of such assumptions and
40estimates as the Secretary of State thinks fit.

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151 Determinations under this Chapter

(1) A determination under this Chapter may make different provision for different
cases or descriptions of case, including different provision—

(a) for different areas,

(b) 5for different local housing authorities, or

(c) for different descriptions of local housing authority.

(2) Before making a determination under this Chapter that relates to all local
housing authorities or a description of local housing authority, the Secretary of
State must consult such representatives of local government and relevant
10professional bodes as the Secretary of State thinks appropriate.

(3) Before making a determination under this Chapter relating to a particular local
housing authority, the Secretary of State must consult that local housing
authority.

(4) As soon as practicable after making a determination under this Chapter, the
15Secretary of State must send a copy of the determination to the local housing
authority or authorities to which it relates.

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

152 20Capital receipts from disposal of housing land

In section 11 of the Local Government Act 2003 (use of capital receipts by a
local authority) after subsection (5) insert—

(6) The Secretary of State and a local authority in England may enter into
an agreement with the effect that a requirement imposed under
25subsection (2)(b) does not apply to, or is modified in its application to,
capital receipts of the authority that are specified or described in the
agreement.

153 Interpretation

In this Chapter “local housing authority” has the same meaning as in the
30Housing Act 1985.

CHAPTER 4 Housing mobility

154 Standards facilitating exchange of tenancies

(1) In section 193 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 (power for regulator
to set standards for registered providers) in subsection (2) after paragraph (g)
35insert—

(ga) methods of assisting tenants to exchange tenancies,.

(2) In section 197(2) of that Act (power of Secretary of State to give directions to
regulator) after paragraph (c) insert , or

(d) methods of assisting tenants to exchange tenancies.

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155 Assisting tenants of social landlords to become home owners

In section 122 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 (registered providers
of social housing in England: restriction on gifts and distributions to members
etc) after subsection (5) (the third class of permitted payments) insert—

(5A) 5Class 4 is payments which—

(a) are in accordance with the constitution of the registered
provider,

(b) are paid for the benefit of tenants of the provider, and

(c) are in any particular case paid to assist the tenant to obtain other
10accommodation by acquiring a freehold, or long-leasehold,
interest in a dwelling.

(5B) For the purposes of subsection (5A)—

CHAPTER 5 Regulation of Social Housing

156 Transfer of functions from the Office for Tenants and Social Landlords to the
20Homes and Communities Agency

(1) Schedule 16 (transfer of functions from the Office for Tenants and Social
Landlords to the Homes and Communities Agency) has effect.

(2) In that Schedule—

157 Regulation of social housing

Schedule 17 (regulation of social housing) has effect.

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CHAPTER 6 Other housing matters

Housing ombudsman

158 Housing complaints

(1) In Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1996 (social rented sector: housing
5complaints) after paragraph 7 insert—

Complaints must be referred by designated person

7A (1) A complaint against a social landlord is not “duly made” to a
housing ombudsman under an approved scheme unless it is made in
writing to the ombudsman by a designated person by way of referral
10of a complaint made to the designated person.

(2) For the purposes of this paragraph “designated person” means—

(a) a member of the House of Commons,

(b) a member of the local housing authority for the district in
which the property concerned is located, or

(c) 15a designated tenant panel (see paragraph 7B(1)) for the social
landlord.

(3) Before making a referral under sub-paragraph (1), a designated
person must obtain written consent from the complainant or the
complainant’s representative.

(4) 20Sub-paragraphs (5) and (6) apply if under sub-paragraph (1) a
designated person refers a complaint to a housing ombudsman.

(5) If the ombudsman decides—

(a) not to investigate the complaint, or

(b) to discontinue investigation of the complaint,

25the ombudsman must prepare a statement of reasons for that
decision and send a copy of the statement to the designated person.

(6) If the ombudsman completes investigation of the complaint, the
ombudsman must inform the designated person of—

(a) the results of the investigation, and

(b) 30any determination made.

(7) In sub-paragraph (2)(b) “district” in relation to a local housing
authority has the same meaning as in the Housing Act 1985.

Designated tenant panels

7B (1) In paragraph 7A(2)(c) “designated tenant panel” means a group of
35tenants which is recognised by a social landlord for the purpose of
referring complaints against the social landlord.

(2) There may be more than one designated tenant panel for a social
landlord.

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(3) Where a social landlord becomes a member of an approved scheme,
the social landlord must give to the person administering the scheme
contact details for any designated tenant panel for the social
landlord.

(4) 5Where a group becomes a designated tenant panel for a social
landlord, the social landlord must, as respects each approved
scheme of which the social landlord is a member, give to the person
administering the scheme contact details for the panel.

(5) Where a group ceases to be a designated tenant panel for a social
10landlord, the social landlord must inform the person administering
each approved scheme of which the social landlord is a member.

(6) A complaint referred to a housing ombudsman under an approved
scheme by a designated tenant panel for a social landlord is not
affected by the group concerned ceasing to be a designated tenant
15panel for the social landlord.

Enforcement of a housing ombudsman’s determinations

7C (1) The Secretary of State may by order make provision for, or in
connection with, authorising a housing ombudsman under an
approved scheme to apply to a court or tribunal for an order that a
20determination made by the ombudsman may be enforced as if it
were an order of a court.

(2) Before the Secretary of State makes an order under sub-paragraph
(1), the Secretary of State must consult—

(a) one or more bodies appearing to the Secretary of State to
25represent the interests of social landlords,

(b) one or more bodies appearing to the Secretary of State to
represent the interests of other members of approved
schemes,

(c) one or more bodies appearing to the Secretary of State to
30represent the interests of tenants, and

(d) such other persons as the Secretary of State considers
appropriate.

(3) The Secretary of State’s power to make an order under sub-
paragraph (1) is exercisable by statutory instrument.

(4) 35A statutory instrument containing an order made by the Secretary of
State under sub-paragraph (1) is subject to annulment in pursuance
of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(2) Section 239(2) of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 (regulator may award
compensation if compensation awarded by housing ombudsman has not been
40paid) is omitted.

(3) Subsection (1), so far as it inserts paragraph 7A of Schedule 2 to the Housing
Act 1996, applies only in relation to complaints made to a housing ombudsman
after the coming into force of that subsection so far as it makes that insertion.

(4) Subsection (1), so far as it inserts paragraph 7C of that Schedule, applies only
45in relation to determinations made after the coming into force of that
subsection so far as it makes that insertion.

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(5) Subsection (2) applies only in relation to determinations made after the coming
into force of that subsection.

159 Transfer of functions to housing ombudsman

(1) In Schedule 5 to the Local Government Act 1974 (matters not subject to
5investigation by a Local Commissioner)—

(a) after paragraph 5 insert—

5A Action which—

(a) is taken by or on behalf of a local authority in its
capacity as a registered provider of social housing,
10and

(b) is action in connection with its housing activities so
far as they relate to the provision or management of
social housing (and here “social housing” has the
same meaning as in Part 2 of the Housing and
15Regeneration Act 2008).

5B In the case of a local authority which is a registered provider
of social housing, action taken by or on behalf of the authority
in connection with the management of dwellings owned by
the authority and let on a long lease (and here “long lease”
20has the meaning given by section 59(3) of the Landlord and
Tenant Act 1987)., and

(b) in paragraph 6 for the words from “not action” to the end substitute

(a) action in connection with functions in relation to
social housing (and here “social housing” has the
25same meaning as in Part 2 of the Housing and
Regeneration Act 2008), or

(b) action in connection with functions in relation to
anything other than housing.

(2) The Housing Act 1996 is amended as follows.

(3) 30In section 51(2) (investigation of complaints against social landlords) before
paragraph (a) insert—

(za) a local authority in England which is a registered provider of
social housing,

(4) In Schedule 2 (schemes for the investigation of housing complaints)—

(a) 35in paragraph 1(1) after “social landlord” insert “, other than a local
housing authority,”,

(b) after paragraph 1(1) insert—

(1A) A social landlord which is a local housing authority must be
a member of an approved scheme covering, or more than one
40scheme which together cover—

(a) action which—

(i) is taken by or on behalf of the authority in its
capacity as a registered provider of social
housing, and

(ii) 45is action in connection with its housing
activities so far as they relate to the provision
or management of social housing (and here

Localism BillPage 147

“social housing” has the same meaning as in
Part 2 of the Housing and Regeneration Act
2008), and

(b) action taken by or on behalf of the authority in
5connection with the management of dwellings owned
by the authority and let on a long lease (and here
“long lease” has the meaning given by section 59(3) of
the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987)., and

(c) after paragraph 11(1) insert—

(1A) 10If a change in the method of calculation under sub-paragraph
(1) would result in a member’s subscription being more than
it would otherwise be, the change may be made only if the
Secretary of State approves it.

(1B) An approved scheme’s total defrayable expenses for a period
15may be more than the scheme’s total defrayable expenses for
the immediately-preceding corresponding period only if the
Secretary of State approves the increase.

(1C) In sub-paragraph (1A) “defrayable expenses”, in relation to a
scheme, means expenses of the scheme that are to be
20defrayed by subscriptions from members of the scheme.

(5) The Secretary of State may, in consequence of the amendments made by this
section, make a scheme (“a transfer scheme”) transferring property, rights and
liabilities of the Commission for Local Administration in England to a person
administering a scheme approved under Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1996.

(6) 25The things that may be transferred under a transfer scheme include—

(a) property, rights and liabilities that could not otherwise be transferred,
and

(b) property acquired, and rights and liabilities arising, after the making of
the scheme.

(7) 30A transfer scheme may make consequential, supplementary, incidental or
transitional provision and may in particular—

(a) create rights, or impose liabilities, in relation to property or rights
transferred,

(b) make provision about the continuing effect of things done by or in
35relation to the transferor in respect of anything transferred,

(c) make provision about the continuation of things (including legal
proceedings) in the process of being done by, on behalf of or in relation
to the transferor in respect of anything transferred,

(d) make provision for references to the transferor in an instrument or
40other document in respect of anything transferred to be treated as
references to the transferee,

(e) make provision for the shared ownership or use of property, and

(f) if the TUPE regulations do not apply in relation to the transfer, make
provision which is the same or similar.

(8) 45A transfer scheme may provide—

(a) for modification by agreement, and

(b) for modifications to have effect from the date when the original scheme
came into effect.

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(9) In this section—

(10) Subsection (1) applies only in relation to complaints made to a Local
Commissioner after the coming into force of that subsection.

(11) Subsection (3) or (4) applies only in relation to complaints made to a housing
10ombudsman after the coming into force of that subsection.

160 Transfer of functions to housing ombudsman: supplementary

(1) The Local Government Act 1974 is amended in accordance with subsections (2)
to (7).

(2) In section 33 (consultation between Local Commissioners and other
15Commissioners)—

(a) in subsection (1) after paragraph (b) insert—

(bza) by a housing ombudsman under the Housing Act
1996,,

(b) in subsection (2) after “Parliamentary Commissioner,” insert “a
20housing ombudsman,”,

(c) after subsection (3) insert—

(3A) If at any stage in the course of conducting an investigation
under the Housing Act 1996, a housing ombudsman forms the
opinion that the complaint relates partly to a matter which
25could be the subject of an investigation under this Part of the
Act, the ombudsman must consult with the appropriate Local
Commissioner about the complaint and, if the ombudsman
considers it necessary, inform the person initiating the
complaint of the steps necessary to initiate a complaint under
30this Part of this Act.,

(d) in subsection (4) after “subsection (3)” insert “or (3A)”, and

(e) in that subsection after “1967” insert “or under the Housing Act 1996”.

(3) Section 33ZA (collaborative working between Local Commissioners and other
Commissioners) is amended as follows.

(4) 35In subsection (1) (power to conduct joint investigations)—

(a) in paragraph (c) for “both” substitute “a housing ombudsman”, and

(b) for the words from “jointly” to the end substitute “jointly with any also-
involved ombudsman or jointly with any two or more also-involved
ombudsmen.”

(5) 40After subsection (1) insert—

(1A) In subsection (1) “also-involved ombudsman” means a person within
subsection (1)(a), (b) or (c) who, in the opinion of the Local
Commissioner concerned, has jurisdiction in relation to a matter that is
included among the matters which are the subject of the Local
45Commissioner’s investigation.

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(6) In subsection (3) (power to conduct joint investigations)—

(a) in paragraph (c) for “both” substitute “a housing ombudsman”, and

(b) for the words “jointly” to the end substitute “jointly with a person
within paragraph (a), (b) or (c) who is investigating the complaint or
5jointly with any two or more such persons.”

(7) In section 34(1) (interpretation of Part 3) insert at the appropriate place—

(8) In Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1996 (housing ombudsman schemes) after
10paragraph 10 insert—

Collaborative working with Local Commissioners

10A (1) If at any stage in the course of conducting an investigation under this
Act a housing ombudsman forms the opinion that the complaint
relates partly to a matter within the jurisdiction of a Local
15Commissioner, the ombudsman may, subject to sub-paragraph (2),
conduct an investigation under this Act jointly with that
Commissioner.

(2) A housing ombudsman must obtain the consent of the complainant
or the complainant’s representative before agreeing to a joint
20investigation referred to in sub-paragraph (1).

(3) If a housing ombudsman forms the opinion that a complaint which
is being investigated by a Local Commissioner relates partly to a
matter within the jurisdiction of the ombudsman, the ombudsman
may conduct an investigation jointly with that Commissioner.

(4) 25If a housing ombudsman conducts an investigation jointly with a
Local Commissioner, the requirements of paragraph 7 may be
satisfied by a report made jointly with that person.

(5) A joint report made under this paragraph must distinguish
determinations of a housing ombudsman from other findings or
30recommendations.

Home information packs

161 Abolition of home information packs

(1) Part 5 of the Housing Act 2004 (home information packs) is repealed.

(2) Schedule 18 (home information packs: consequential amendments) has effect.

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