Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page


Baroness Gardner of Parkes: My Lords, I am delighted with Amendments Nos. 57 and 58—and, to a lesser extent, Amendment No. 59. They are practical. The points made about expense could be relevant. No doubt the regulations would cover checking fully on the reliability of anyone who was so designated. Amendments Nos. 57 and 58 are good progress.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

COMMONS AMENDMENT

60After Clause 154 , insert the following new clause—
Charges under estate management schemes


    (1) This section applies where a scheme under—


(a) section 19 of the 1967 Act (estate management schemes in connection with enfranchisement under that Act),
(b) Chapter 4 of Part 1 of the 1993 Act (estate management schemes in connection with enfranchisement under the 1967 Act or Chapter 1 of Part 1 of the 1993 Act), or

15 Apr 2002 : Column 716


(c) section 94(6) of the 1993 Act (corresponding schemes in relation to areas occupied under leases from Crown), includes provision imposing on persons occupying or interested in property an obligation to make payments ("estate charges").
(2) A variable estate charge is payable only to the extent that the amount of the charge is reasonable; and "variable estate charge" means an estate charge which is neither—


(a) specified in the scheme, nor
(b) calculated in accordance with a formula specified in the scheme.
(3) Any person on whom an obligation to pay an estate charge is imposed by the scheme may apply to a leasehold valuation tribunal for an order varying the scheme in such manner as is specified in the application on the grounds that—


(a) any estate charge specified in the scheme is unreasonable, or
(b) any formula specified in the scheme in accordance with which any estate charge is calculated is unreasonable.
(4) If the grounds on which the application was made are established to the satisfaction of the tribunal, it may make an order varying the scheme in such manner as is specified in the order.


    (5) The variation specified in the order may be—


(a) the variation specified in the application, or
(b) such other variation as the tribunal thinks fit.
(6) An application may be made to a leasehold valuation tribunal for a determination whether an estate charge is payable by a person and, if it is, as to—


(a) the person by whom it is payable,
(b) the person to whom it is payable,
(c) the amount which is payable,
(d) the date at or by which it is payable, and
(e) the manner in which it is payable.
(7) Subsection (6) applies whether or not any payment has been made.


    (8) The jurisdiction conferred on a leasehold valuation tribunal in respect of any matter by virtue of subsection (6) is in addition to any jurisdiction of a court in respect of the matter.


    (9) No application under subsection (6) may be made in respect of a matter which—


(a) has been agreed or admitted by the person concerned,
(b) has been, or is to be, referred to arbitration pursuant to a post-dispute arbitration agreement to which that person is a party,
(c) has been the subject of determination by a court, or
(d) has been the subject of determination by an arbitral tribunal pursuant to a post-dispute arbitration agreement.
(10) But the person is not to be taken to have agreed or admitted any matter by reason only of having made any payment.


    (11) An agreement (other than a post-dispute arbitration agreement) is void in so far as it purports to provide for a determination—


(a) in a particular manner, or
(b) on particular evidence, of any question which may be the subject matter of an application under subsection (6).
(12) In this section—


"post-dispute arbitration agreement", in relation to any matter, means an arbitration agreement made after a dispute about the matter has arisen, and "arbitration agreement" and "arbitral tribunal" have the same meanings as in Part 1 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (c. 23)."

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 60.

15 Apr 2002 : Column 717

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 60.—(Lord Falconer of Thoroton.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

COMMONS AMENDMENT

61After Clause 158, insert the following new clause—
"INSURANCE OTHERWISE THAN WITH LANDLORD'S INSURER
(1) This section applies where a long lease of a house requires the tenant to insure the house with an insurer nominated or approved by the landlord ("the landlord's insurer").
(2) The tenant is not required to effect the insurance with the landlord's insurer if—
(a) the house is insured under a policy of insurance issued by an authorised insurer,
(b) the policy covers the interests of both the landlord and the tenant,
(c) the policy covers all the risks which the lease requires be covered by insurance provided by the landlord's insurer,
(d) the amount of the cover is not less than that which the lease requires to be provided by such insurance, and
15


    (e)


    the tenant satisfies subsection (3).


(3) To satisfy this subsection the tenant—
(a) must have given a notice of cover to the landlord before the end of the period of fourteen days beginning with the relevant date, and
(b) if (after that date) he has been requested to do so by a new landlord, must have given a notice of cover to him within the period of fourteen days beginning with the day on which the request was given.
(4) For the purposes of subsection (3)—
(a) if the policy has not been renewed the relevant date is the day on which it took effect and if it has been renewed it is the day from which it was last renewed, and
(b) a person is a new landlord on any day if he acquired the interest of the previous landlord under the lease on a disposal made by him during the period of one month ending with that day.
(5) A notice of cover is a notice specifying—
(a) the name of the insurer,
(b) the risks covered by the policy,
(c) the amount and period of the cover, and
(d) such further information as may be prescribed.
(6) A notice of cover—
(a) must be in the prescribed form, and
(b) may be sent by post.
(7) If a notice of cover is sent by post, it may be addressed to the landlord at the address specified in subsection (8).
(8) That address is—
(a) the address last furnished to the tenant as the landlord's address for service in accordance with section 48 of the 1987 Act (notification of address for service of notices on landlord), or
(b) if no such address has been so furnished, the address last furnished to the tenant as the landlord's address in accordance with section 47 of the 1987 Act (landlord's name and address to be contained in demands for rent).
51


    (9)

15 Apr 2002 : Column 718


    But the tenant may not give a notice of cover to the landlord at the address specified in subsection (8) if he has been notified by the landlord of a different address in England and Wales at which he wishes to be given any such notice.


(10) In this section—
"authorised insurer", in relation to a policy of insurance, means a person who may carry on in the United Kingdom the business of effecting or carrying out contracts of insurance of the sort provided under the policy without contravening the prohibition imposed by section 19 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (c. 8),
"house" has the same meaning as for the purposes of Part 1 of the 1967 Act,
"landlord" and "tenant" have the same meanings as in Chapter 1 of this Part,
"long lease" has the meaning given by sections 74 and 75 of this Act, and
"prescribed" means prescribed by regulations made by the appropriate national authority."

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 61. I wish to speak also to Amendment No. 65

Amendment No. 61 is intended to deal with the problem of provisions in leases of houses which require the leaseholder to insure the property with an insurer nominated by the landlord. This problem was raised by many Members in the other place. The noble Baroness, Lady Hanham, tabled an amendment during the first Committee stage on 22nd March 2001 on nominated insurers, an amendment which was supported by the noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, and others. My noble friend Lord Whitty undertook to consider the matter further. I am pleased to inform the House that we have been able to deal with this problem.

We believe that it is wrong for landlords to exploit a monopoly over the provision of insurance in order to gain higher commission. At the same time we recognise that landlords have a legitimate interest in ensuring that leasehold property is insured. The new clause will allow leaseholders the opportunity to shop around for the best deal while providing protection for the landlord's interest.

It provides that any clause in a lease requiring the leaseholder to insure with an insurer nominated by the landlord will be deemed to be satisfied if certain conditions are met. In short, these conditions are that the leaseholder must insure the property with an insurer authorised to carry on business in the UK. The policy must note the interests of both the landlord and the leaseholder. It must cover the risks that are required to be covered in the lease and the amount of cover must not be less than that required by the lease. The leaseholder must provide the landlord with evidence of cover or renewal within 14 days of insurance being taken out or renewed. This should provide an effective remedy to the widespread abuses. Amendment No. 62 is a technical amendment intended to strengthen these provisions.

Amendment No. 65 will ensure that the new clause created by Amendment No. 61 on nominated insurers applies to Crown land.

15 Apr 2002 : Column 719

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 61.—(Lord Falconer of Thoroton.)


Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page