Localism Bill (HL Bill 100)

Localism BillPage 180

State must consult such representatives of local government and relevant
professional 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
5authority.

(4) As soon as practicable after making a determination under this Chapter, the
Secretary 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
10Housing Act 1989 applies to a determination under this Chapter as it applies to
a determination under Part 6 of that Act.

173 Capital 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) 15The Secretary of State and a local authority in England may enter into
an agreement with the effect that a requirement imposed under
subsection (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.

174 20Interpretation

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

CHAPTER 4 Housing mobility

175 Standards facilitating exchange of tenancies

(1) 25In section 193 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 (power for regulator
to set standards for registered providers) in subsection (2) after paragraph (g)
insert—

(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
30regulator) after paragraph (c) insert , or

(d) methods of assisting tenants to exchange tenancies.

176 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
35etc) after subsection (5) (the third class of permitted payments) insert—

(5A) Class 4 is payments which—

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

Localism BillPage 181

(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
accommodation by acquiring a freehold, or long-leasehold,
interest in a dwelling.

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

  • “long-leasehold interest”, in relation to a dwelling, means the
    lessee’s interest under a lease of the dwelling granted, for a
    premium, for a term certain exceeding 21 years;

  • “acquiring”, in relation to a long-leasehold interest in a dwelling,
    10includes acquiring by grant and acquiring by assignment.

CHAPTER 5 Regulation of Social Housing

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

(1) Schedule 16 (transfer of functions from the Office for Tenants and Social
15Landlords to the Homes and Communities Agency) has effect.

(2) In that Schedule—

  • Part 1 amends the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 (regulation of
    social housing) so as to—

    (a)

    abolish the Office for Tenants and Social Landlords (“the
    20Office”),

    (b)

    create the Regulation Committee of the Homes and
    Communities Agency (“the HCA”), and

    (c)

    transfer the functions of the Office to the HCA acting through
    the Committee,

  • 25Part 2 makes consequential amendments to other enactments,

  • Part 3 contains provision transferring property, rights and liabilities of the
    Office to the HCA, and

  • Part 4 contains transitional and saving provisions.

178 Regulation of social housing

30Schedule 17 (regulation of social housing) has effect.

CHAPTER 6 Other housing matters

Housing ombudsman

179 Housing complaints

(1) In Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1996 (social rented sector: housing

Localism BillPage 182

complaints) 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
5writing to the ombudsman by a designated person by way of referral
of 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
10which the property concerned is located, or

(c) a 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
15complainant’s representative.

(4) Sub-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) 20to discontinue investigation of the complaint,

the 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) 25the results of the investigation, and

(b) any 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) 30In paragraph 7A(2)(c) “designated tenant panel” means a group of
tenants 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.

(3) 35Where 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) Where a group becomes a designated tenant panel for a social
40landlord, 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.

Localism BillPage 183

(5) Where a group ceases to be a designated tenant panel for a social
landlord, 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
5scheme by a designated tenant panel for a social landlord is not
affected by the group concerned ceasing to be a designated tenant
panel 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
10connection with, authorising a housing ombudsman under an
approved scheme to apply to a court or tribunal for an order that a
determination 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
15(1), the Secretary of State must consult—

(a) one or more bodies appearing to the Secretary of State to
represent 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
20schemes,

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

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

(3) 25The Secretary of State’s power to make an order under sub-
paragraph (1) is exercisable by statutory instrument.

(4) A 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) 30Section 239(2) of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 (regulator may award
compensation if compensation awarded by housing ombudsman has not been
paid) 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
35after 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
in relation to determinations made after the coming into force of that
subsection so far as it makes that insertion.

(5) Subsection (2) applies only in relation to determinations made after the coming
40into force of that subsection.

180 Transfer of functions to housing ombudsman

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

Localism BillPage 184

(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,
5and

(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
10Regeneration 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”
15has 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
20same 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) 25In 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) 30in 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
35scheme 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) 40is 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 Regeneration Act
452008), and

(b) 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

Localism BillPage 185

“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) If a change in the method of calculation under sub-paragraph
5(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
may be more than the scheme’s total defrayable expenses for
10the 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
defrayed by subscriptions from members of the scheme.

(5) 15The 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) The things that may be transferred under a transfer scheme include—

(a) 20property, 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) A transfer scheme may make consequential, supplementary, incidental or
25transitional 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
relation to the transferor in respect of anything transferred,

(c) 30make 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
other document in respect of anything transferred to be treated as
35references 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) A transfer scheme may provide—

(a) 40for modification by agreement, and

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

(9) In this section—

  • TUPE regulations” means the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of
    45Employment) Regulations 2006 (S.I. 2006/246S.I. 2006/246),

  • references to rights and liabilities include rights and liabilities relating to
    a contract of employment, and

  • Localism BillPage 186

  • references to the transfer of property include the grant of a lease.

(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
5ombudsman after the coming into force of that subsection.

181 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
10Commissioners)—

(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
15housing 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
20could 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
25this 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) 30In 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) 35After 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
40Commissioner’s investigation.

(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
45jointly with any two or more such persons.”

Localism BillPage 187

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

  • “housing ombudsman” means a housing ombudsman under a
    scheme approved under Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1996,.

(8) In Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1996 (housing ombudsman schemes) after
5paragraph 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
10Commissioner, 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
15investigation 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) 20If 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
25recommendations.

Home information packs

182 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.

30Tenants’ deposits

183 Tenancy deposit schemes

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

(2) In section 213 (requirements relating to tenancy deposits)—

(a) in subsection (3) (landlord’s requirement to comply with initial
35requirements within 14 days of receipt of deposit) for “14” substitute
“30”, and

(b) in subsection (6)(b) (landlord’s requirement to give tenant information
within 14 days of receipt of deposit) for “14” substitute “30”.

(3) Section 214 (proceedings relating to tenancy deposits) is amended as follows.

Localism BillPage 188

(4) In subsection (1) (grounds for an application to a county court) for paragraph
(a) substitute—

(a) that section 213(3) or (6) has not been complied with in relation
to the deposit, or.

(5) 5After subsection (1) insert—

(1A) Subsection (1) also applies in a case where the tenancy has ended, and
in such a case the reference in subsection (1) to the tenant is to a person
who was a tenant under the tenancy.

(6) In subsection (2) (conditions for a remedy)—

(a) 10in the opening words for “if on such an application” substitute “in the
case of an application under subsection (1) if the tenancy has not ended
and”, and

(b) for paragraph (a) substitute—

(a) is satisfied that section 213(3) or (6) has not been
15complied with in relation to the deposit, or.

(7) After subsection (2) insert—

(2A) Subsections (3A) and (4) apply in the case of an application under
subsection (1) if the tenancy has ended (whether before or after the
making of the application) and the court—

(a) 20is satisfied that section 213(3) or (6) has not been complied with
in relation to the deposit, or

(b) is not satisfied that the deposit is being held in accordance with
an authorised scheme,

as the case may be.

(8) 25After subsection (3) insert—

(3A) The court may order the person who appears to the court to be holding
the deposit to repay all or part of it to the applicant within the period of
14 days beginning with the date of the making of the order.

(9) In subsection (4) (amount of penalty payment)—

(a) 30omit “also”, and

(b) for “equal to” substitute “not less than the amount of the deposit and
not more than”.

(10) Section 215 (sanctions for non-compliance) is amended as follows.

(11) In subsection (1) (prevention of service of notice under section 21 of the
35Housing Act 1988)—

(a) at the beginning insert “Subject to subsection (2A),”, and

(b) for paragraph (b) substitute—

(b) section 213(3) has not been complied with in relation to
the deposit.

(12) 40In subsection (2) (prevention of service of notice under section 21 of the
Housing Act 1988) at the beginning insert “Subject to subsection (2A),”.

(13) After subsection (2) insert—

(2A) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply in a case where—

Localism BillPage 189

(a) the deposit has been returned to the tenant in full or with such
deductions as are agreed between the landlord and tenant, or

(b) an application to a county court has been made under section
214(1) and has been determined by the court, withdrawn or
5settled by agreement between the parties.

(14) In Schedule 10 (provisions relating to tenancy deposit schemes) in paragraph
5A(9)(b) (modification of section 213(3)) for “14” substitute “30”.

Houses in multiple occupation

184 Exemption from HMO licensing for buildings run by co-operatives

(1) 10In Schedule 14 to the Housing Act 2004 (buildings which are not HMOs for the
purposes of that Act (excluding Part 1)) after paragraph 2A insert—

Buildings controlled or managed by a co-operative society

2B (1) A building where—

(a) the person managing or having control of it is a co-operative
15society whose rules are such as to secure that each of the
conditions set out in sub-paragraph (2) is met, and

(b) no person who occupies premises in the building does so by
virtue of an assured tenancy, a secure tenancy or a protected
tenancy.

(2) 20The conditions are—

(a) that membership of the society is restricted to persons who
are occupiers or prospective occupiers of buildings managed
or controlled by the society,

(b) that all management decisions of the society are made by the
25members (or a specified quorum of members) at a general
meeting which all members are entitled to, and invited to,
attend,

(c) that each member has equal voting rights at such a meeting,
and

(d) 30that, if a person occupies premises in the building and is not
a member, that person is an occupier of the premises only as
a result of sharing occupation of them with a member at the
member’s invitation.

(3) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (1) “co-operative society” means
35a body that—

(a) is registered—

(i) as a co-operative society under section 1 of the 1965
Act, or

(ii) is a pre-2010 Act society (as defined by section 4A(1)
40of the 1965 Act) which meets the condition in section
1(2) of the 1965 Act, and

(b) is neither—

(i) a non-profit registered provider of social housing, nor

(ii) registered as a social landlord under Part 1 of the
45Housing Act 1996.