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Session 2003 - 04
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Other Bills before Parliament

Housing Bill


Housing Bill
Part 6 — Other provisions about housing
Chapter 3 — Mobile Homes

142

 

185     

Power to amend terms implied in site agreements

(1)   

After section 2 of the Mobile Homes Act 1983 (c. 34) insert—

“2A     

Power to amend implied terms

(1)   

The appropriate national authority may by order make such

amendments of Part 1 or 2 of Schedule 1 to this Act as the authority

5

considers appropriate.

(2)   

An order under this section—

(a)   

shall be made by statutory instrument;

(b)   

may make different provision with respect to different cases or

descriptions of case, including different provision for different

10

areas;

(c)   

may contain such incidental, supplementary, consequential,

transitional or saving provisions as the authority making the

order considers appropriate.

(3)   

Without prejudice to the generality of subsections (1) and (2), an order

15

under this section may—

(a)   

make provision for or in connection with the determination by

the court of such questions, or the making by the court of such

orders, as are specified in the order;

(b)   

make such amendments of any provision of this Act as the

20

authority making the order considers appropriate in

consequence of any amendment made by the order in Part 1 or

2 of Schedule 1.

(4)   

The first order made under this section in relation to England or Wales

respectively may provide for all or any of its provisions to apply in

25

relation to agreements to which this Act applies that were made at any

time before the day on which the order comes into force (as well as in

relation to such agreements made on or after that day).

(5)   

No order may be made by the appropriate national authority under this

section unless the authority has consulted—

30

(a)   

such organisations as appear to it to be representative of

interests substantially affected by the order; and

(b)   

such other persons as it considers appropriate.

(6)   

No order may be made by the Secretary of State under this section

unless a draft of the order has been laid before, and approved by a

35

resolution of, each House of Parliament.”

(2)   

For the purposes of subsection (5) of the section 2A inserted by this section,

consultation undertaken before the date of the passing of this Act constitutes

as effective compliance with that subsection as if undertaken on or after that

date.

40

Protection from eviction etc.

186     

Extension of protection from harassment for occupiers of mobile homes

(1)   

Section 3 of the Caravan Sites Act 1968 (c. 52) (protection of occupiers against

eviction and harassment) is amended as follows.

 

 

Housing Bill
Part 6 — Other provisions about housing
Chapter 4 — Miscellaneous

143

 

(2)   

In subsection (1) (offence where person, with the specified intent, does acts

calculated to interfere with the peace or comfort of the occupier etc.) for

“calculated to interfere” substitute “likely to interfere”.

(3)   

After subsection (1) insert—

“(1A)    

Subject to the provisions of this section, the owner of a protected site or

5

his agent shall be guilty of an offence under this section if, whether

during the subsistence or after the expiration or determination of a

residential contract—

(a)   

he does acts likely to interfere with the peace or comfort of the

occupier or persons residing with him, or

10

(b)   

he persistently withdraws or withholds services or facilities

reasonably required for the occupation of the caravan as a

residence on the site,

   

and (in either case) he knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, that

that conduct is likely to cause the occupier to do any of the things

15

mentioned in subsection (1)(c)(i) or (ii) of this section.

(1B)   

References in subsection (1A) of this section to the owner of a protected

site include references to a person with an estate or interest in the site

which is superior to that of the owner.”

(4)   

In subsection (3) (penalties for offences), for the words from “be liable”

20

onwards substitute “be liable—

(a)   

on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum

or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, or to both;

(b)   

on conviction on indictment, to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not

exceeding 2 years, or to both.”

25

(5)   

After subsection (4) insert—

“(4A)   

In proceedings for an offence under subsection (1A) of this section it

shall be a defence to prove that the accused had reasonable grounds for

doing the acts or withdrawing or withholding the services or facilities

in question.”

30

(6)   

The amendments made by this section do not apply in relation to any conduct

occurring before the day on which this section comes into force.

(7)   

In the case of an offence committed before section 154(1) of the Criminal Justice

Act 2003 (c. 44) comes into force, the amendment made by subsection (4) has

effect as if for “12 months” there were substituted “6 months”.

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Chapter 4

Miscellaneous

Overcrowding

187     

Overcrowding

(1)   

The appropriate national authority may by order make such provision as it

40

considers appropriate for and in connection with—

(a)   

determining whether a dwelling is overcrowded for the purposes of

Part 10 of the Housing Act 1985 (c. 68) (overcrowding);

 

 

Housing Bill
Part 6 — Other provisions about housing
Chapter 4 — Miscellaneous

144

 

(b)   

introducing for the purposes of sections 123 to 128 of this Act a concept

of overcrowding similar to that applying for the purposes of Part 10

(and accordingly removing the discretion of local housing authorities

to decide particular issues arising under those sections);

(c)   

securing that overcrowding in premises to which sections 123 to 128 of

5

this Act would otherwise apply, or any description of such premises, is

regulated only by provisions of Part 10.

(2)   

An order under this section may, in particular, make provision for regulating

the making by local housing authorities of determinations as to whether

premises are overcrowded, including provision prescribing—

10

(a)   

factors that must be taken into account by such authorities when

making such determinations;

(b)   

the procedure that is to be followed by them in connection with making

such determinations.

(3)   

An order under this section may modify any enactment (including this Act).

15

(4)   

In this section—

(a)   

any reference to Part 10 of the Housing Act 1985 (c. 68) includes a

reference to Part 10 as modified by an order under this section; and

(b)   

“enactment” includes an enactment comprised in subordinate

legislation (within the meaning of the Interpretation Act 1978 (c. 30)).

20

Registered social landlords

188     

Amendments relating to registered social landlords

Schedule 8 (which makes amendments relating to registered social landlords)

has effect.

189     

Disclosure of information to registered social landlords for the purposes of

25

the Crime and Disorder Act 1998

In section 115(2) of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (c. 37) after paragraph (d)

insert—

“(da)   

a person registered under section 1 of the Housing Act 1996 as

a social landlord;”.

30

Grants for social housing

190     

Additional power to give grants for social housing

After section 27 of the Housing Act 1996 (c. 52) insert—

“Grants to bodies other than registered social landlords

27A Grants to bodies other than registered social landlords

35

(1)   

The Relevant Authority may make grants under this section to

companies that are not registered social landlords.

(2)   

Grants under this section are grants for any of the following purposes—

 

 

Housing Bill
Part 6 — Other provisions about housing
Chapter 4 — Miscellaneous

145

 

(a)   

acquiring, or repairing and improving, or creating by the

conversion of houses or other property, houses to be disposed

of—

(i)   

under equity percentage arrangements, or

(ii)   

on shared ownership terms;

5

(b)   

constructing houses to be disposed of—

(i)   

under equity percentage arrangements, or

(ii)   

on shared ownership terms;

(c)   

providing loans to be secured by mortgages to assist persons to

acquire houses for their own occupation;

10

(d)   

providing, constructing or improving houses to be kept

available for letting;

(e)   

providing, constructing or improving houses for letting that are

to be managed by such registered social landlords, and under

arrangements containing such terms, as are approved by the

15

Relevant Authority;

(f)   

such other purposes as may be specified in an order under

subsection (3).

(3)   

The Secretary of State may by order make such provision in connection

with the making of grants under this section as he considers

20

appropriate.

(4)   

An order under subsection (3) may, in particular, make provision—

(a)   

defining “equity percentage arrangements” for the purposes of

this section;

(b)   

specifying or describing the bodies from whom loans may be

25

obtained by persons wishing to acquire houses for their own

occupation;

(c)   

dealing with the priority of mortgages entered into by such

persons;

(d)   

specifying purposes additional to those mentioned in

30

subsection (2)(a) to (e).

(5)   

As regards grants made by the Housing Corporation, an order under

subsection (3) may also require the imposition of conditions in

connection with such grants, and for this purpose may—

(a)   

prescribe conditions that are to be so imposed;

35

(b)   

prescribe matters about which conditions are to be so imposed

and any particular effects that such conditions are to achieve.

(6)   

The Relevant Authority shall specify in relation to grants under this

section—

(a)   

the procedure to be followed in relation to applications for

40

grant,

(b)   

the circumstances in which grant is or is not to be payable,

(c)   

the method for calculating, and any limitations on, the amount

of the grant, and

(d)   

the manner in which, and the time or times at which, grant is to

45

be paid.

(7)   

If, by virtue of subsection (5), an order under subsection (3) requires

conditions to be imposed by the Housing Corporation in connection

 

 

Housing Bill
Part 6 — Other provisions about housing
Chapter 4 — Miscellaneous

146

 

with a grant to a company under this section, the Corporation in

making the grant—

(a)   

must provide that the grant is conditional on compliance by the

company with such conditions as are required by the order; and

(b)   

if it exercises its power to impose conditions under subsection

5

(8), must not impose any that are inconsistent with the

requirements of the order.

(8)   

In making a grant to a company under this section the Relevant

Authority may provide that the grant is conditional on compliance by

the company with such conditions as the Authority may specify.

10

(9)   

The conditions that may be so specified include conditions requiring

the payment to the Relevant Authority in specified circumstances of a

sum determined by the Authority (with or without interest).

(10)   

An order under subsection (3) shall be made by statutory instrument

which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of

15

either House of Parliament.

(11)   

In this section—

   

“company” means—

(a)   

a company registered under the Companies Act 1985

(including such a company which is also a registered

20

charity), or

(b)   

a company not so registered which is established by a

local housing authority for the purpose of exercising

management functions of the authority under section 27

of the Housing Act 1985;

25

   

“disposed of on shared ownership terms” has the meaning given

by section 2(6);

   

“letting” includes the grant of a licence to occupy.”

Disabled facilities grant

191     

Disabled facilities grant: caravans

30

(1)   

The Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (c. 53) is

amended as follows.

(2)   

In section 1(1)(c)(i) (grants in relation to qualifying park homes) for “qualifying

park homes” substitute “caravans”.

(3)   

In section 19(1) (applications for grants) for paragraph (c) substitute—

35

“(c)   

that the applicant is an occupier (alone or jointly with others) of

a qualifying houseboat or a caravan and, in the case of a

caravan, that at the time the application was made the caravan

was stationed on land within the authority’s area.”

(4)   

In section 22A (certificates required in case of occupier’s application)—

40

(a)   

for “qualifying park home” in subsection (2)(b) and (3)(a) and (b)

substitute “caravan”, and

(b)   

for “pitch” in subsection (3)(a) substitute “land”.

(5)   

In the following provisions for “qualifying park home” substitute “caravan”—

 

 

Housing Bill
Part 6 — Other provisions about housing
Chapter 4 — Miscellaneous

147

 

(a)   

section 23(1)(a)(i), (b)(i), (i) and (k) (purposes of grant);

(b)   

section 24(3)(b)(i) (approval of application);

(c)   

section 29(3) (restriction on grants for works already begun);

(d)   

section 41(1)(b) (change of circumstances).

(6)   

In section 57(2)(a) (power of authority to carry out works)—

5

(a)   

for “qualifying park home”, in each place where it occurs, substitute

“caravan”, and

(b)   

for “pitch” in sub-paragraph (i) substitute “land”.

(7)   

In section 58 (minor definitions for the purposes of Chapter 1 of Part 1)—

(a)   

before the definition of “common parts” insert—

10

   

““caravan”—

(a)   

means a caravan within the meaning of Part 1 of the

Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960

(disregarding the amendment made by section 13(2)

of the Caravan Sites Act 1968); and

15

(b)   

includes any yard, garden, outhouses and

appurtenances belonging to it or usually enjoyed with

it;” and

(b)   

for “qualifying park home” in the definition of “premises” substitute

“caravan”, and

20

(c)   

omit the definition of “qualifying park home”.

(8)   

In section 59 (index of defined expressions)—

(a)   

before the entry relating to “certified date” insert—

 

“caravan

section 58”; and

 

(b)   

omit the entry relating to “qualifying park home”.

25

(9)   

The amendments made by this section do not apply in relation to any

application for a disabled facilities grant under the Housing Grants,

Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (c. 53) that is made before the day on

which this section comes into force.

Annual reports by local housing authorities

30

192     

Removal of duty on local housing authorities to send annual reports to

tenants etc.

Omit section 167 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 (c. 42) (duty

of local housing authorities to send annual reports to tenants).

Social Housing Ombudsman for Wales

35

193     

Social Housing Ombudsman for Wales

(1)   

After subsection (6) of section 51 of the Housing Act 1996 (c. 52) (schemes for

 

 

Housing Bill
Part 6 — Other provisions about housing
Chapter 4 — Miscellaneous

148

 

investigation of housing complaints) insert—

“(7)    

This section shall not apply in relation to social landlords in Wales

(within the meaning given by section 51C).”

(2)   

After that section insert—

“51A    

Social Housing Ombudsman for Wales

5

(1)   

For the purpose of the investigation of complaints made about social

landlords in Wales, there shall be an office of Social Housing

Ombudsman for Wales or Ombwdsmon Tai Cymdeithasol Cymru.

(2)   

The person who is the Local Commissioner for Wales shall also be the

Social Housing Ombudsman for Wales.

10

(3)   

If there is more than one person who is a Local Commissioner for

Wales, the Commission for Local Administration in Wales shall

designate one of them to be the Social Housing Ombudsman for Wales.

(4)   

If a person who is the Social Housing Ombudsman for Wales ceases to

be a Local Commissioner for Wales, he shall cease to be the Social

15

Housing Ombudsman for Wales.

(5)   

The power under section 23(6) of the Local Government Act 1974 to

remove a Local Commissioner for Wales from office on grounds of

incapacity or misbehaviour includes a power to remove him from that

office on grounds of incapacity or misbehaviour which are exclusively

20

or partly relevant to the office of Social Housing Ombudsman for

Wales.

(6)   

“Local Commissioner for Wales” shall be construed in accordance with

section 23 of the Local Government Act 1974.

(7)   

Schedule 2A (which contains further provision about the Social

25

Housing Ombudsman for Wales) shall have effect.

51B     

Investigation of complaints

(1)   

The National Assembly for Wales may by regulations make provision

about the investigation by the Social Housing Ombudsman for Wales

of complaints made about social landlords in Wales.

30

(2)   

Regulations under subsection (1) may in particular make provision

about—

(a)   

the matters about which complaints may be made;

(b)   

the grounds on which a matter may be excluded from

investigation, including that the matter is the subject of court

35

proceedings or was the subject of court proceedings where

judgment on the merits was given;

(c)   

the description of individual who may make a complaint;

(d)   

a power of the Social Housing Ombudsman for Wales to

investigate any complaint duly made (whether the complaint is

40

subsequently withdrawn or not), and, where he investigates,

the making of a determination;

(e)   

a power of the Social Housing Ombudsman for Wales to

propose alternative methods of resolving a dispute;

 

 

 
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