Committee (1st Day)

Part of Housing and Planning Bill – in the House of Lords at 5:30 pm on 9th February 2016.

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Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 5:30 pm, 9th February 2016

My Lords, I would assume that in those circumstances the local authority would take a second charge out on the house. That is the assumption I would make in such circumstances.

Under subsection (7) the Secretary of State may make regulations specifying how financial penalties recovered under this clause are to be dealt with. Broadly speaking, we envisage that such sums could be used in connection with the authority’s private sector housing functions, but we will discuss the details of how the income is to be applied with relevant parties before making the regulations. We will consult on guidance, setting out the appropriate penalties to levy, and take into account a wide range of circumstances. Such guidance will also cover landlords’ right to appeal. Furthermore, we will issue local authorities with guidance on the utilisation of any money they receive through financial penalties.

I do not know whether I answered the noble Baroness, Lady Bakewell, and the noble Lord, Lord Greaves, about the new burdens. I have probably made my point, but any policy that could result in a local authority incurring costs is subject to a new burdens assessment. We have considered this test when developing this policy. It is not a burden as it is not a requirement to place someone under a banning order.

In answer to the noble Lord, Lord Palmer, on how local authorities will implement this policy, local authorities have warmly welcomed it because it will help them to crack down on the rogues and retain the income from civil penalties and rent repayment orders. It is important that noble Lords are satisfied that local authorities are very happy with this.

The noble Lord, Lord Campbell-Savours, mentioned the transfer of interest to a prohibited person when that interest is an overseas interest. It does not matter whether it is an overseas interest or whether it is in this country, the policy still applies, as I understand it.

The noble Lord, Lord Greaves, asked how local authorities would make their decision and how many cases we would have a year. Local authorities are likely to seek banning orders where the offence is particularly serious or where they have a repeat offender. We estimate that there will be about 600 banning orders per year. I hope my comments have reassured noble Lords, but I see that the noble Lord, Lord Beecham, is about to stand up.