Committee (1st Day)

Part of Housing and Planning Bill – in the House of Lords at 4:00 pm on 9th February 2016.

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Photo of Lord Greaves Lord Greaves Liberal Democrat 4:00 pm, 9th February 2016

My Lords, that is not the correct definition, with respect to the Minister, unless being banned by a First-tier Tribunal is a conviction. Perhaps it is—it is certainly a status—but it is clear that people banned by the First-tier Tribunal will be on the banned list. One assumes that they are therefore rogue landlords under the definition in the Bill, so they would not have to be convicted in a higher court of law. Yes, the Minister is nodding her head.

I will be brief. I am no friend of bad landlords—far from it. In the part of Colne that I represent, parts of those streets have been wrecked by bad landlords, and I agree that it is a clear phrase in the public mind. However, we are not talking about the public mind but about phrases that will have to be interpreted at some stage by the courts of the country. We are talking about words written into the law of the land. The use of such colloquial expressions, which are perfectly okay on breakfast-time television as the people who are denounced there deserve everything they get, will get us into trouble if we put them into the law.

If the Government are really determined to put this rather unusual and extraordinary expression into the law of the land, it ought to appear in the list of definitions at the end of Part 2 so that we have a clear definition of it, because when the Minister was asked just now she did not quite give an accurate one. At the very least, I ask that it appears in the list of definitions because words mean what they say. This is not Humpty-Dumpty land. Words actually have a meaning and, when it comes to the law, words have more of a meaning than they do in chat in the pub or on breakfast-time television. Having said that, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment

Amendment A1 withdrawn.

Amendment B1 not moved.

Clause 12 agreed.

Clause 13: “Banning order” and “banning order offence”

Amendment C1

Moved by Lord Beecham

C1: Clause 13, page 9, line 1, leave out from “means” to end of line 10 and insert “—

(a) unlawful eviction of a tenant; or

(b) failure to comply with an improvement notice in relation to property conditions.

(4) The Secretary of State may by regulations made by statutory instrument amend the list of offences in subsection (3).

(5) A statutory instrument containing regulations under subsection (4) may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.”