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Localism Bill


Localism Bill
Part 6 — Housing
Chapter 5 — Regulation of Social Housing

129

 

149     

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)   

Class 4 is payments which—

5

(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

accommodation by acquiring a freehold, or long-leasehold,

10

interest in a dwelling.

(5B)   

For 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;

15

“acquiring”, in relation to a long-leasehold interest in a dwelling,

includes acquiring by grant and acquiring by assignment.”

Chapter 5

Regulation of Social Housing

150     

Transfer of functions from the Office for Tenants and Social Landlords to the

20

Homes 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—

Part 1 amends the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 (regulation of

25

social housing) so as to—

(a)   

abolish the Office for Tenants and Social Landlords (“the

Office”),

(b)   

create the Regulation Committee of the Homes and

Communities Agency (“the HCA”), and

30

(c)   

transfer the functions of the Office to the HCA acting through

the Committee,

Part 2 makes consequential amendments to other enactments,

Part 3 contains provision transferring property, rights and liabilities of the

Office to the HCA, and

35

Part 4 contains transitional and saving provisions.

151     

Regulation of social housing

Schedule 17 (regulation of social housing) has effect.

 
 

Localism Bill
Part 6 — Housing
Chapter 6 — Other housing matters

130

 

Chapter 6

Other housing matters

Wales

152     

Powers of the National Assembly for Wales

In Part 1 of Schedule 5 to the Government of Wales Act 2006 (Assembly

5

Measures: matters) in Field 11 (housing) after Matter 11.8 insert—

“Matter 11.9

           

Accounts of local authorities in respect of land, housing and other

buildings relating to their housing functions.

Matter 11.10

10

           

Borrowing by local authorities for the purposes of their housing

functions.

Matter 11.11

           

Subsidies or payments replacing subsidies from the Welsh Ministers

to local authorities, or from local authorities to the Welsh Ministers,

15

in respect of local authorities’ housing functions.”

Housing ombudsman

153     

Housing complaints

(1)   

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

complaints) after paragraph 7 insert—

20

“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

of a complaint made to the designated person.

25

      (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)   

a designated tenant panel (see paragraph 7B(1)) for the social

30

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)  

Sub-paragraphs (5) and (6) apply if under sub-paragraph (1) a

35

designated person refers a complaint to a housing ombudsman.

 
 

Localism Bill
Part 6 — Housing
Chapter 6 — Other housing matters

131

 

      (5)  

If the ombudsman decides—

(a)   

not to investigate the complaint, or

(b)   

to 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.

5

      (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)   

any determination made.

      (7)  

In sub-paragraph (2)(b) “district” in relation to a local housing

10

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

tenants which is recognised by a social landlord for the purpose of

referring complaints against the social landlord.

15

      (2)  

There may be more than one designated tenant panel for a social

landlord.

      (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

20

landlord.

      (4)  

Where 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.

25

      (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

scheme by a designated tenant panel for a social landlord is not

30

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

connection with, authorising a housing ombudsman under an

35

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

(1), the Secretary of State must consult—

40

(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

schemes,

45

 
 

Localism Bill
Part 6 — Housing
Chapter 6 — Other housing matters

132

 

(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)  

The Secretary of State’s power to make an order under sub-

5

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)   

Section 239(2) of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 (regulator may award

10

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

after the coming into force of that subsection so far as it makes that insertion.

15

(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

into force of that subsection.

20

154     

Transfer of functions to the Housing Ombudsman

(1)   

In Schedule 5 to the Local Government Act 1974 (matters not subject to

investigation by a Local Commissioner)—

(a)   

after paragraph 5 insert—

“5A        

Action which—

25

(a)   

is taken by or on behalf of a local authority in its

capacity as a registered provider of social housing,

and

(b)   

is action in connection with its housing activities so

far as they relate to the provision or management of

30

social housing (and here “social housing” has the

same meaning as in Part 2 of the Housing and

Regeneration 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

35

in connection 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

(b)   

in paragraph 6 for the words from “not action” to the end substitute “—

40

(a)   

action in connection with functions in relation to

social housing (and here “social housing” has the

same meaning as in Part 2 of the Housing and

Regeneration Act 2008), or

(b)   

action in connection with functions in relation to

45

anything other than housing.”

 
 

Localism Bill
Part 6 — Housing
Chapter 6 — Other housing matters

133

 

(2)   

The Housing Act 1996 is amended as follows.

(3)   

In 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,”

5

(4)   

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

(a)   

in 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

10

a member of an approved scheme covering, or more than one

scheme 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

15

housing, and

(ii)   

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

20

Part 2 of the Housing and Regeneration Act

2008), 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

25

“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

(1) would result in a member’s subscription being more than

30

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

the immediately-preceding corresponding period only if the

35

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)   

The Secretary of State may, in consequence of the amendments made by this

40

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)   

property, rights and liabilities that could not otherwise be transferred,

45

and

(b)   

property acquired, and rights and liabilities arising, after the making of

the scheme.

 
 

Localism Bill
Part 6 — Housing
Chapter 6 — Other housing matters

134

 

(7)   

A 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

5

relation 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

10

other 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.

15

(8)   

A 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.

(9)   

In this section—

20

“TUPE regulations” means the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of

Employment) Regulations 2006 (S.I. 2006/246),

references to rights and liabilities include rights and liabilities relating to

a contract of employment, and

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

25

(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

ombudsman after the coming into force of that subsection.

155     

Transfer of functions to the Housing Ombudsman: supplementary

30

(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

Commissioners)—

(a)   

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

35

“(bza)   

by a housing ombudsman under the Housing Act

1996,”,

(b)   

in subsection (2) after “Parliamentary Commissioner,” insert “a

housing ombudsman,”,

(c)   

after subsection (3) insert—

40

“(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

could be the subject of an investigation under this Part of the

Act, the ombudsman must consult with the appropriate Local

45

Commissioner about the complaint and, if the ombudsman

 
 

Localism Bill
Part 6 — Housing
Chapter 6 — Other housing matters

135

 

considers it necessary, inform the person initiating the

complaint of the steps necessary to initiate a complaint under

this 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”.

5

(3)   

Section 33ZA (collaborative working between Local Commissioners and other

Commissioners) is amended as follows.

(4)   

In 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-

10

involved ombudsman or jointly with any two or more also-involved

ombudsmen.”

(5)   

After 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

15

Commissioner concerned, has jurisdiction in relation to a matter that is

included among the matters which are the subject of the Local

Commissioner’s investigation.”

(6)   

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

(a)   

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

20

(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

jointly with any two or more such persons.”

(7)   

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

““housing ombudsman” means a housing ombudsman under a

25

scheme approved under Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1996,”.

(8)   

In Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1996 (housing ombudsman schemes) after

paragraph 10 insert—

“Collaborative working with Local Commissioners

10A   (1)  

If at any stage in the course of conducting an investigation under this

30

Act a housing ombudsman forms the opinion that the complaint

relates partly to a matter within the jurisdiction of a Local

Commissioner, the ombudsman may, subject to sub-paragraph (2),

conduct an investigation under this Act jointly with that

Commissioner.

35

      (2)  

A housing ombudsman must obtain the consent of the complainant

or the complainant’s representative before agreeing to a joint

investigation 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

40

matter within the jurisdiction of the ombudsman, the ombudsman

may conduct an investigation jointly with that Commissioner.

      (4)  

If 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.

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