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Session 2003 - 04
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Housing Bill


Housing Bill
Part 1 — Housing conditions
Chapter 2 — Improvement notices, prohibition orders and hazard awareness notices

19

 

28      

Hazard awareness notices relating to category 2 hazards: power of authority

to serve notice

(1)   

If—

(a)   

the local housing authority are satisfied that a category 2 hazard exists

on any residential premises, and

5

(b)   

no interim or final management order is in force in relation to the

premises under Part 4,

   

the authority may serve a hazard awareness notice under this section in respect

of the hazard.

(2)   

A hazard awareness notice under this section is a notice advising the person on

10

whom it is served of the existence of a category 2 hazard on the residential

premises concerned which arises as a result of a deficiency on the premises in

respect of which the notice is served.

(3)   

Subsections (3) and (4) of section 27 apply to a hazard awareness notice under

this section as they apply to one under that section.

15

(4)   

A notice under this section may relate to more than one category 2 hazard on

the same premises or in the same building containing one or more flats.

(5)   

A notice under this section must specify, in relation to the hazard (or each of

the hazards) to which it relates—

(a)   

the nature of the hazard and the residential premises on which it exists,

20

(b)   

the deficiency giving rise to the hazard,

(c)   

the premises on which the deficiency exists,

(d)   

the authority’s reasons for deciding to serve the notice, including their

reasons for deciding that serving the notice is the most appropriate

course of action, and

25

(e)   

details of the remedial action (if any) which the authority consider that

it would be practicable and appropriate to take in relation to the

hazard.

(6)   

A notice under this section may be combined in one document with a notice

under section 27 where they are served in respect of the same premises.

30

(7)   

Part 1 of Schedule 1 (which relates to the service of improvement notices and

copies of such notices) applies to a notice under this section as if it were an

improvement notice.

(8)   

For that purpose, any reference in that Part of that Schedule to “the specified

premises” is, in relation to a hazard awareness notice under this section, a

35

reference to the premises specified under subsection (5)(c).

Enforcement: improvement notices

29      

Offence of failing to comply with improvement notice

(1)   

Where an improvement notice has become operative, the person on whom the

notice was served commits an offence if he fails to comply with it.

40

(2)   

For the purposes of this Chapter compliance with an improvement notice

means, in relation to each hazard, beginning and completing any remedial

action specified in the notice—

 

 

Housing Bill
Part 1 — Housing conditions
Chapter 2 — Improvement notices, prohibition orders and hazard awareness notices

20

 

(a)   

(if no appeal is brought against the notice) not later than the date

specified under section 12(2)(e) and within the period specified under

section 12(2)(f);

(b)   

(if an appeal is brought against the notice and is not withdrawn) not

later than such date and within such period as may be fixed by the

5

tribunal determining the appeal; and

(c)   

(if an appeal brought against the notice is withdrawn) not later than the

21st day after the date on which the notice becomes operative and

within the period (beginning on that 21st day) specified in the notice

under section 12(2)(f).

10

(3)   

A person who commits an offence under subsection (1) is liable on summary

conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

(4)   

In proceedings against a person for an offence under subsection (1) it is a

defence that he had a reasonable excuse for failing to comply with the notice.

(5)   

The obligation to take any remedial action specified in the notice in relation to

15

a hazard continues despite the fact that the period for completion of the action

has expired.

(6)   

In this section any reference to any remedial action specified in a notice

includes a reference to any part of any remedial action which is required to be

completed within a particular period specified in the notice.

20

30      

Enforcement action by local housing authorities

Schedule 3 (which enables enforcement action in respect of an improvement

notice to be taken by local housing authorities either with or without

agreement and which provides for the recovery of related expenses) has effect.

Enforcement: prohibition orders

25

31      

Offence of failing to comply with prohibition order etc.

(1)   

A person commits an offence if, knowing that a prohibition order has become

operative in relation to any specified premises, he—

(a)   

uses the premises in contravention of the order, or

(b)   

permits the premises to be so used.

30

(2)   

A person who commits an offence under subsection (1) is liable on summary

conviction—

(a)   

to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale, and

(b)   

to a further fine not exceeding £20 for every day or part of a day on

which he so uses the premises, or permits them to be so used, after

35

conviction.

(3)   

In proceedings against a person for an offence under subsection (1) it is a

defence that he had a reasonable excuse for using the premises, or (as the case

may be) permitting them to be used, in contravention of the order.

32      

Recovery of possession of premises in order to comply with order

40

Nothing in—

(a)   

the Rent Act 1977 (c. 42) or the Rent (Agriculture) Act 1976 (c. 80), or

 

 

Housing Bill
Part 1 — Housing conditions
Chapter 2 — Improvement notices, prohibition orders and hazard awareness notices

21

 

(b)   

Part 1 of the Housing Act 1988 (c. 50),

prevents possession being obtained by the owner of any specified premises in

relation to which a prohibition order is operative if possession of the premises

is necessary for the purpose of complying with the order.

33      

Power of tribunal to determine or vary lease

5

(1)   

Subsection (2) applies where—

(a)   

a prohibition order has become operative, and

(b)   

the whole or part of any specified premises form the whole or part of

the subject matter of a lease.

(2)   

The lessor or the lessee may apply to a residential property tribunal for an

10

order determining or varying the lease.

(3)   

On such an application the tribunal may make an order determining or varying

the lease, if it considers it appropriate to do so.

(4)   

Before making such an order, the tribunal must give any sub-lessee an

opportunity of being heard.

15

(5)   

An order under this section may be unconditional or subject to such terms and

conditions as the tribunal considers appropriate.

(6)   

The conditions may, in particular, include conditions about the payment of

money by one party to the proceedings to another by way of compensation,

damages or otherwise.

20

(7)   

In deciding what is appropriate for the purposes of this section, the tribunal

must have regard to the respective rights, obligations and liabilities of the

parties under the lease and to all the other circumstances of the case.

(8)   

In this section “lessor” and “lessee” include a person deriving title under a

lessor or lessee.

25

Enforcement: improvement notices and prohibition orders

34      

Power of court to order occupier or owner to allow action to be taken on

premises

(1)   

This section applies where an improvement notice or prohibition order has

become operative.

30

(2)   

If the occupier of any specified premises—

(a)   

has received reasonable notice of any intended action in relation to the

premises, but

(b)   

is preventing a relevant person, or any representative of a relevant

person or of the local housing authority, from taking that action in

35

relation to the premises,

a magistrates’ court may order the occupier to permit to be done on the

premises anything which the court considers is necessary or expedient for the

purpose of enabling the intended action to be taken.

(3)   

If a relevant person—

40

(a)   

has received reasonable notice of any intended action in relation to any

specified premises, but

 

 

Housing Bill
Part 1 — Housing conditions
Chapter 2 — Improvement notices, prohibition orders and hazard awareness notices

22

 

(b)   

is preventing a representative of the local housing authority from

taking that action in relation to the premises,

a magistrates’ court may order the relevant person to permit to be done on the

premises anything which the court considers is necessary or expedient for the

purpose of enabling the intended action to be taken.

5

(4)   

A person who fails to comply with an order of the court under this section

commits an offence.

(5)   

In proceedings for an offence under subsection (4) it is a defence that the person

had a reasonable excuse for failing to comply with the order.

(6)   

A person who commits an offence under subsection (4) is liable on summary

10

conviction to a fine not exceeding £20 in respect of each day or part of a day

during which the failure continues.

(7)   

In this section “intended action”, in relation to any specified premises, means—

(a)   

where an improvement notice has become operative, any action which

the person on whom that notice has been served is required by the

15

notice to take in relation to the premises and which—

(a)   

(in the context of subsection (2)) is proposed to be taken by or

on behalf of that person or on behalf of the local housing

authority in pursuance of Schedule 3, or

(b)   

(in the context of subsection (3)) is proposed to be taken on

20

behalf of the local housing authority in pursuance of Schedule 3;

(b)   

where a prohibition order has become operative, any action which is

proposed to be taken and which either is necessary for the purpose of

giving effect to the order or is remedial action specified in the order in

accordance with section 21(2)(e).

25

(8)   

In this section—

   

“relevant person”, in relation to any premises, means a person who is an

owner of the premises, a person having control of or managing the

premises, or the holder of any licence under Part 2 or 3 in respect of the

premises;

30

   

“representative” in relation to a relevant person or a local housing

authority, means any officer, employee, agent or contractor of that

person or authority.

35      

Power of court to authorise action by one owner on behalf of another

(1)   

Where an improvement notice or prohibition order has become operative, an

35

owner of any specified premises may apply to a magistrates’ court for an order

under subsection (2).

(2)   

A magistrates’ court may, on an application under subsection (1), make an

order enabling the applicant—

(a)   

immediately to enter on the premises, and

40

(b)   

to take any required action within a period fixed by the order.

(3)   

In this section “required action” means—

(a)   

in the case of an improvement notice, any remedial action which is

required to be taken by the notice;

 

 

Housing Bill
Part 1 — Housing conditions
Chapter 2 — Improvement notices, prohibition orders and hazard awareness notices

23

 

(b)   

in the case of a prohibition order, any action necessary for the purpose

of complying with the order or any remedial action specified in the

order in accordance with section 21(2)(e).

(4)   

No order may be made under subsection (2) unless the court is satisfied that

the interests of the applicant will be prejudiced as a result of a failure by

5

another person to take any required action.

(5)   

No order may be made under subsection (2) unless notice of the application

has been given to the local housing authority.

(6)   

If it considers that it is appropriate to do so, the court may make an order in

favour of any other owner of the premises which is similar to the order that it

10

is making in relation to the premises under subsection (2).

Supplementary provisions

36      

Effect of improvement notices and prohibition orders as local land charges

(1)   

An improvement notice or a prohibition order under this Chapter is a local

land charge if subsection (2), (3) or (4) applies.

15

(2)   

This subsection applies if the notice or order has become operative.

(3)   

This subsection applies if—

(a)   

the notice or order is suspended under section 13 or 22, and

(b)   

the period for appealing against it under Part 3 of Schedule 1 or 2 has

expired without an appeal having been brought.

20

(4)   

This subsection applies if—

(a)   

the notice or order is suspended under section 13 or 22,

(b)   

an appeal has been brought against it under Part 3 of Schedule 1 or 2,

and

(c)   

were it not suspended—

25

(i)   

the notice would have become operative under section 15(5) by

virtue of paragraph 19(2) of Schedule 1 (improvement notices:

confirmation on appeal or expiry of period for further appeal),

or

(ii)   

the order would have become operative under section 23(5) by

30

virtue of paragraph 14(2) of Schedule 2 (prohibition orders:

confirmation on appeal or expiry of period for further appeal).

37      

Savings for rights arising from breach of covenant etc.

(1)   

Nothing in this Chapter affects any remedy of an owner for breach of any

covenant or contract entered into by a tenant in connection with any premises

35

which are specified premises in relation to an improvement notice or

prohibition order.

(2)   

If an owner is obliged to take possession of any premises in order to comply

with an improvement notice or prohibition order, the taking of possession does

not affect his right to take advantage of any such breach which occurred before

40

he took possession.

(3)   

No action taken under this Chapter affects any remedy available to the tenant

of any premises against his landlord (whether at common law or otherwise).

 

 

 
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