Housing and Planning Bill (HL Bill 117)

Housing and Planning BillPage 30

(2) “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) 5On making a request under subsection (1) the Secretary of State must publish
the 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
10provider that has not met the home ownership criteria.

Amendments to other legislation

66 Consequential 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) 15For subsection (1) substitute—

(1) The HCA must exercise its powers under section 19 to give financial
assistance 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) 20Omit subsection (2).

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

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

Interpretation

67 Interpretation of Chapter

25In this Chapter—

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

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

  • 30“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
    exercise of a right conferred by an Act.

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CHAPTER 2 Vacant higher value local authority housing

Payments to Secretary of State by Local Housing Authorities

68 Payments to Secretary of State

(1) 5The Secretary of State may by regulations make a determination requiring a
local housing authority 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 higher value housing
10that is likely to become vacant during the year, less

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

(3) For the housing to be taken into account, see section 69.

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

(5) 15A determination must set out the method for calculating the amount of the
payment.

(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
20calculation whether or not those assumptions are, or are likely to be, borne out
by events.

(8) The Secretary of State must by regulations define “higher value”, in relation to
housing, for the purposes of this Chapter.

(9) Regulations under subsection (8) may define “higher value” in different ways
25for different kinds of housing, different local housing authorities or different
areas.

(10) In determining how to define “higher value”, in relation to housing, the
Secretary of State may—

(a) use any category of housing that the Secretary of State considers
30appropriate as a comparator (for example, housing in which a local
housing authority has an interest or housing in a particular area);

(b) take into account any other factors that the Secretary of State considers
appropriate.

69 Housing to be taken into account

(1) 35This section is about the housing to be taken into account under section 68(2).

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

(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.

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(3) Where a local housing authority disposes of housing under section 32 or 43 of
the 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) 5treat 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) A determination under section 68 must identify any housing that the Secretary
of State has taken into account under subsection (3).

70 Procedure for determinations

(1) 10Before making a determination under section 68 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
professional bodies as the Secretary of State thinks appropriate.

(2) Before making a determination under section 68 that relates to a particular
15local housing authority, the Secretary of State must consult that local housing
authority.

(3) As soon as possible after making a determination under section 68 the
Secretary of State must send a copy of it to each local housing authority to
which it relates.

(4) 20Section 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
a 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.

71 25More about determinations

(1) A determination under section 68 must be made before the financial year to
which 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
30year to which it relates.

(3) A determination under section 68 may relate to one financial year or to more
than one financial year.

(4) A determination under section 68 may make provision about how and when a
payment is to be made including, in particular, provision for payments by
35instalment.

(5) A determination under section 68 may provide for interest to be charged in the
event of late payment.

(6) A determination under section 68—

(a) may make different provision for different areas;

(b) 40may make different provision for different local housing authorities;

(c) may otherwise make different provision for different purposes.

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72 Determinations in the first year that section 68 comes into force

If section 68 comes into force part way through a financial year, then, in relation
to that financial year—

(a) a determination under section 68 may be made at any time (despite
5section 71(1)), but

(b) any reference in section 68 to housing becoming vacant during a
financial year is to be read as limited to housing becoming vacant after
the determination is made (or, in a case where it is varied in accordance
with section 71(2), housing becoming vacant after the original
10determination in relation to that financial year is made).

73 Reduction of payment by agreement

(1) The Secretary of State and a local housing authority may enter into an
agreement to reduce the amount that the authority is required to pay because
of a determination under this Chapter.

(2) 15The agreement must include terms and conditions requiring the local housing
authority to use the amount by which the payment is reduced for the provision
of housing or for things that facilitate the provision of housing.

(3) The agreement may include other terms and conditions.

(4) Where the agreement is with a local housing authority in Greater London, it
20must require the authority to ensure that at least two new affordable homes are
provided for each old dwelling.

(5) But if the Greater London Authority has agreed to ensure that a number of the
new affordable homes are provided, that number is to be deducted from the
number for which the local housing authority must be made responsible under
25subsection (4).

(6) The Secretary of State may by regulations create other exceptions to subsection
(4) in relation to one or more local housing authorities.

(7) In this section—

  • “new affordable home” means a new dwelling in England that—

    (a)

    30is to be made available for people whose needs are not
    adequately served by the commercial housing market, or

    (b)

    is a starter home as defined by section 2;

  • “new dwelling” means a building or part of a building that—

    (a)

    has been constructed for use as a single dwelling and has not
    35previously been occupied, or

    (b)

    has been adapted for use as a single dwelling and has not been
    occupied since its adaptation;

  • “old dwelling” means a single dwelling taken into account under section
    68(2) for the purposes of the determination.

(8) 40If a determination under this Chapter relates to more than one financial year—

(a) an agreement under this section may be made in relation to the
determination so far as it relates to a particular financial year, and

(b) in the definition of “old dwelling” in subsection (7) the reference to the
determination is to the determination so far as it relates to the financial
45year to which the agreement relates.

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(9) The Secretary of State may by regulations amend this section so as to change
the meaning of “new affordable home”.

74 Set off against repayments under section 68

Where the Secretary of State is liable to repay an amount that has been
5overpaid by a local housing authority under section 68, the Secretary of State
may set off against the amount of the repayment any amount that the authority
is liable to pay the Secretary of State under—

(a) section 68, or

(b) section 11 of the Local Government Act 2003.

10Duty to consider selling

75 Duty to consider selling vacant higher value housing

(1) A local housing authority in England that keeps a Housing Revenue Account
must consider selling its interest in any higher value housing that has become
vacant.

(2) 15The duty in subsection (1) applies only in relation to housing that appears in
the list in section 74(1) of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989
(Housing Revenue Account).

(3) The Secretary of State may by regulations exclude housing from the duty in
subsection (1).

(4) 20In discharging its duty under subsection (1) a local housing authority must
have regard to any guidance given by the Secretary of State.

Amendments and interpretation

76 Local authority disposal of housing: consent requirements

(1) The Housing Act 1985 is amended as follows.

(2) 25In section 34(4A) (consents to disposals and conditions), after paragraph (ca)
(but before the “and”) insert—

(cb) any reduction in the amount that the local authority may be
required to pay under section 68 of the Housing and Planning
Act 2016 (payments to Secretary of State in respect of vacant
30higher value housing in England) as a result of the disposal;”.

(3) In section 43(4A) (consents to disposals and conditions), after paragraph (ca)
(but before the “and”) insert—

(cb) any reduction in the amount that the local authority may be
required to pay under section 68 of the Housing and Planning
35Act 2016 (payments to Secretary of State in respect of vacant
higher value housing in England) as a result of the disposal;”.

77 Set off under section 11 of Local Government Act 2003

(1) Section 11 of the Local Government Act 2003 (use of capital receipts) is
amended as follows.

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(2) In subsection (5), after “an authority” insert “in Wales”.

(3) After subsection (5) insert—

(5A) Where the Secretary of State is liable to repay an amount that has been
overpaid by a local housing authority in England under this section, the
5Secretary of State may set off against the amount of the repayment any
amount that the authority is liable to pay the Secretary of State under—

(a) this section, or

(b) section 68 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 (payments in
respect of vacant high value housing).”

78 10Interpretation of Chapter

(1) In this Chapter—

  • “becomes vacant”: housing in which a local housing authority has an
    interest “becomes vacant” when a tenancy granted by the authority
    comes to an end and is not renewed expressly or by operation of law
    15(but see subsection (2));

  • “financial year” means a period of 12 months beginning with 1 April;

  • “higher value”, in relation to housing, has the meaning given by
    regulations under section 68;

  • “housing” means a building, or part of a building, which is occupied or
    20intended to be occupied as a dwelling or as more than one dwelling;

  • “Housing Revenue Account” has the meaning given by section 74 of the
    Local Government and Housing Act 1989;

  • “interest” means a freehold or leasehold interest;

  • “local housing authority” has the meaning given by section 1 of the
    25Housing Act 1985;

  • “tenancy” includes a licence to occupy.

(2) The Secretary of State may by regulations specify circumstances in which
housing is to be treated as not having become vacant for the purposes of this
Part even if it otherwise would be.

30CHAPTER 3 Rents for high income social tenants

Mandatory rents for local authority tenants

79 Mandatory rents for high income local authority tenants

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision about the levels of
35rent that an English local housing authority may charge a high income tenant
of social housing in England.

(2) The regulations must specify that the rent shall not equate to more than 10
pence for each pound of a tenant’s income above the minimum income
threshold.

(3) 40The regulations may, in particular, require the rent—

(a) to be equal to the market rate,

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(b) to be a proportion of the market rate, or

(c) to be determined by reference to other factors.

(4) The regulations may, in particular, provide for the rent to be different—

(a) for people with different incomes, or

(b) 5for social housing in different areas.

(5) The regulations may create exceptions for high income tenants of social
housing of a specified description.

(6) The regulations may require a local housing authority to have regard to
guidance given by the Secretary of State when determining rent in accordance
10with the regulations.

(7) Regulations under this section are referred to in this Chapter as “rent
regulations”.

80 Meaning of “high income” etc

(1) Rent regulations must—

(a) 15define what is meant by “high income” for the purposes of this Chapter,
which will not be below £50,000 a year per household in London, or
£40,000 per household outside London, and

(b) make provision about how a person’s income is to be calculated.

(2) The regulations may, in particular—

(a) 20define “high income” in different ways for different areas;

(b) specify things that are, or are not, to be treated as income;

(c) make provision about the period by reference to which a person’s
income is to be calculated (which may be a period in the past);

(d) make provision about how a person’s income is to be verified;

(e) 25require a person’s household income (as defined by the regulations) to
be taken into account;

(f) require a local housing authority to have regard to guidance given by
the Secretary of State when calculating or verifying a person’s income.

81 Information about income

(1) 30Rent regulations may give a local housing authority the power to require a
tenant to provide information or evidence for the purpose of determining
whether the local housing authority is obliged by the regulations to charge a
specific level of rent and what that level is.

(2) Rent regulations may require an English local housing authority to charge the
35maximum rent to a tenant who has failed to comply with a requirement.

(3) Regulations made in reliance on subsection (1) may, in particular, make
provision about—

(a) the kind of information or evidence that may be required;

(b) the time within which and the manner and form in which the
40information or evidence is to be provided.

(4) In subsection (1) “tenant” includes prospective tenant.

(5) In subsection (2) “the maximum rent” means the rent that a local housing
authority is required to charge a high income tenant of the premises under

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section 79 (or, if regulations under section 79(4)(a) provide for different rents
for people with different incomes, the rent that a person in the highest income
bracket would be required to pay).

82 HMRC information

(1) 5HMRC may disclose information for the purpose of enabling a local housing
authority to determine whether it is obliged by rent regulations to charge a
tenant a specific level of rent and what that level is.

(2) The information may only be disclosed to—

(a) a local housing authority,

(b) 10the Secretary of State for the purposes of passing the information to
local housing authorities,

(c) a public body that has been given the function of passing information
between HMRC and local housing authorities by regulations under
subsection (3), or

(d) 15a body with which the Secretary of State has made arrangements for the
passing of information between HMRC and local housing authorities.

(3) The Secretary of State may by regulations—

(a) give a public body the function mentioned in subsection (2)(c), and

(b) make provision about the carrying out of that function.

(4) 20The Secretary of State must obtain HMRC’s consent before making—

(a) arrangements under subsection (2)(d), or

(b) regulations under subsection (3).

(5) Information disclosed under this section to the Secretary of State or to a body
mentioned in subsection (2)(c) or (d) may be passed on to a local housing
25authority for which it is intended.

(6) Information disclosed under this section may not otherwise be further
disclosed without authorisation from HMRC.

(7) Where a person contravenes subsection (6) by disclosing any revenue and
customs information relating to a person whose identity—

(a) 30is specified in the disclosure, or

(b) can be deduced from it,

section 19 of the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005 (wrongful
disclosure) applies in relation to that disclosure as it applies in relation to a
disclosure of such information in contravention of section 20(9) of that Act.

(8) 35In this section—

  • HMRC” means the Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and
    Customs;

  • “revenue and customs information relating to a person” has the meaning
    given by section 19(2) of the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs
    40Act 2005;

  • “tenant” includes prospective tenant.

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83 Reverting to original rent levels

(1) Rent regulations may include provision for the purpose of ensuring that where
a requirement imposed under section 79(1) ceases to apply, the rent is changed
to what it would have been if the requirement had never applied.

(2) 5Rent regulations may include provision for the purpose of ensuring that
where—

(a) a local housing authority is required by section 81(2) to charge the
maximum rent because of a tenant’s failure to provide information or
evidence, and

(b) the tenant subsequently provides the necessary information or
10evidence,

the rent is changed to what it would have been if section 81(2) had never
applied.

84 Power to change rents and procedure for changing rents

(1) 15Rent regulations may give a local housing authority power to change the rent
payable under a tenancy for the purpose of complying with the regulations.

(2) Rent regulations may make provision about the procedure for changing rent to
comply with the regulations (whether the change is made using a power given
by regulations under subsection (1) or otherwise).

(3) 20Regulations made in reliance on subsection (2) may, in particular—

(a) make provision about the review of decisions to increase rent;

(b) give rights of appeal to the First-tier Tribunal and amend existing rights
of appeal.

(4) Regulations under this section may amend any provision made by or under an
25Act passed before this Act or in the same Session.

85 Payment by local authority of increased income to Secretary of State

(1) Rent regulations may require a local housing authority to make a payment or
payments to the Secretary of State in respect of any estimated increase in rental
income because of the regulations.

(2) 30The amount of a payment is to be calculated in accordance with the
regulations.

(3) The regulations may provide for deductions to be made to reflect the
administrative costs of local authorities in implementing the regulations.

(4) The regulations may provide for interest to be charged in the event of late
35payment.

(5) The regulations may provide for assumptions to be made in making a
calculation, whether or not those assumptions are, or are likely to be, borne out
by events.

(6) The regulations may make provision about how and when payments are to be
40made including, in particular, provision for payments by instalment.

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86 Provision of information to Secretary of State

Rent regulations may give the Secretary of State a power to require a local
housing authority to provide information in connection with the regulations.

87 Interaction with other legislation and consequential amendments

(1) 5The Secretary of State must use the power in section 22(4) of the Welfare
Reform and Work Act 2016 to provide that section 21 of that Act does not apply
to a high income tenant of social housing to whom rent regulations apply.

(2) In section 24 of the Housing Act 1985 (rent), after subsection (5) insert—

(5A) See also Chapter 3 of Part 4 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 (rents
10for high income social tenants in England).”

(3) In Part 2 of Schedule 4 to the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 (the
keeping of the Housing Revenue Account: debits), after item 10 insert—

Item 11: payments under section 85 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016

Any sums payable for the year to the Secretary of State under
15regulations made in reliance on section 85 of the Housing and
Planning Act 2016 (rents for high income social tenants: payment by
local authority of increased income to Secretary of State).”

Private registered providers: rent policies for high income tenants

88 Private providers: policies for high income social tenants

(1) 20A private registered provider of social housing that has a policy about levels of
rent for high income social tenants in England must publish that policy.

(2) The policy must include provision for requesting reviews of, or appealing,
decisions under the policy.

89 25HMRC information for private registered providers

(1) HMRC may disclose information for the purpose of enabling a private
registered provider of social housing to apply any relevant policy about levels
of rent for high income social tenants in England.

(2) The information may only be disclosed to—

(a) the private registered provider of social housing,

(b) 30the Secretary of State for the purposes of passing the information to
registered providers,

(c) a public body that has been given the function of passing information
between HMRC and registered providers by regulations under
subsection (3), or

(d) 35a body with which the Secretary of State has made arrangements for the
passing of information between HMRC and registered providers.

(3) The Secretary of State may by regulations—

(a) give a public body the function mentioned in subsection (2)(c), and

(b) make provision about the carrying out of that function.