1.The Committee has requested a memorandum on the following points:
(1) Explain why, as of 14 May 2019, the Codes of Practice referred to in regulation 2(2) do not appear on the websites indicated in the footnotes.
(2) In relation to changes made by the new Codes, explain if any transitional issues arise and, if so, how those issues are dealt with.
2.In relation to the Committee’s first question, the Codes of Practice referred to in regulation 2(2) do not appear on the websites indicated in the footnotes because the Codes are not yet in force and to include both sets alongside one another was considered to be confusing for the user. The Codes were finalised on 1 May 2019. However, they come into force on 1 June 2019 and arrangements are in place (in accordance with section 233(3)(b) of the Housing Act 2004 (“the Act”)) so they will appear on the websites from that date onwards. Although not yet formally published, the Codes have been subject to the required public consultation, as set out below.
3.In relation to the Committee’s second question, the Department considers that no transitional issues arise. The approval of the new Codes of Practice referred to in regulation 2 directly supersede the approval of the previous Codes of Practice referred to in regulation 3, the instrument is withdrawing the previous approval not revoking the previous Codes themselves, Regulation 3 withdraws the Secretary of State’s approval of the previous Codes, meaning that from 1 June 2019 they cease to be approved and the new Codes referred to in regulation 2 take effect as approved.
4.The new Codes lay down standards of conduct and practice to be followed with regard to the management of living accommodation comprised in buildings that fall within paragraph 4 of Schedule 14 to the Act. The Codes deal with conduct and practice, and where reference needs to be made to a previously approved Code, that Code remains in force.
5.The Department considers that the Secretary of State has fulfilled the statutory requirements of section 233(2) and 233(3) of the Act. The Explanatory Memorandum sets out how, before the new Codes were approved by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, reasonable steps were taken to:
6.Accordingly, a full and wide-ranging consultation (as the Explanatory Memorandum explains) has been carried out and before the instrument was laid before Parliament, the Code providers confirmed that the new Codes would be published. Each of the Codes requires the persons managing student accommodation to provide student tenants with full details about the existence and operation of the Code relevant to their building, through letting and marketing materials and information provided to existing or potential tenants.
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
29 May 2019
Published: 14 June 2019