Part 2 - Exceptions, exemptions and enforcement

Welfare Reform and Work Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 20th October 2015.

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Exceptions

5 (1) Part 1 does not apply in relation to a tenant of social housing if—

(a) the accommodation is low cost home ownership accommodation;

(b) the accommodation is both low cost rental accommodation and low cost home ownership accommodation (see section 71 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008).

(2) Part 1 does not apply in relation to social housing that consists of or is included in a property if, where the property is subject to a mortgage or other arrangement under which it is security for the payment of a sum or sums—

(a) the mortgagee, or a person entitled under the arrangement to be in possession of the property, is in possession of the property,

(b) a receiver has been appointed by the mortgagee, by a person entitled under the arrangement to do so or by the court to receive the rents and profits of that property and that appointment is in force, or

(c) a person has been appointed under or because of the mortgage or the arrangement to administer or sell or otherwise dispose of the property and that appointment is in force.

(3) If a registered provider’s interest in property that consists of or includes social housing—

(a) was mortgaged or made subject to an arrangement other than a mortgage under which the interest in property was security for the payment of a sum or sums, and

(b) is sold or otherwise disposed of after the coming into force of Part 1 by—

(i) the mortgagee or a person entitled under the arrangement to do so,

(ii) a receiver appointed by the mortgagee, by a person entitled under the arrangement to do so or by the court to receive the rents and profits of the interest in property, or

(iii) a person appointed under or because of the mortgage or the arrangement to exercise powers that consist of or include the sale or other disposal of the interest in property,

Part 1 ceases at that time to apply in relation to that social housing.

(4) The Secretary of State may by regulations provide for Part 1 not to apply in cases prescribed by the regulations.

(5) Regulations under sub-paragraph (4) may in particular make provision about—

(a) tenants of a description prescribed by the regulations;

(b) tenancies of a description prescribed by the regulations;

(c) accommodation of a description prescribed by the regulations;

(d) accommodation which satisfies conditions prescribed by the regulations, including conditions relating to the funding of its building or refurbishment;

(e) events of a description prescribed by the regulations.

(6) Regulations made by virtue of sub-paragraph (5)(a) may include provision about tenants whose income exceeds, or whose household’s incomes exceed, an amount prescribed by the regulations during a period prescribed by the regulations.

(7) Regulations made by virtue of sub-paragraph (5)(e) may include provision about periods during a tenancy when the rent payable is temporarily reduced or waived.

Exemptions

6 (1) The regulator may issue a direction mentioned in sub-paragraph (2) in respect of a private registered provider if—

(a) the condition in sub-paragraph (4) or (5) is satisfied, and the Secretary of State consents.

(2) The directions are—

(a) a direction that Part 1 does not apply in relation to a private registered provider specified in the direction;

(b) a direction that Part 1 is to have effect in relation to a private registered provider specified in the direction as if paragraph 1(4)(c) or (5)(c)—

(i) were omitted,

(ii) required the lesser reduction specified in the direction, or

(iii) required the increase specified in the direction;

(c) a direction that Part 1 is to have effect in relation to a private registered provider specified in the direction as if—

(i) in paragraph 3(4), “reduced by 1%” were omitted,

(ii) paragraph 3(4) required the lesser reduction specified in the direction, or

(iii) paragraph 3(4) required the increase specified in the direction.

(3) The regulator may specify in a direction—

(a) the period during which it is to have effect, and

(b) the social housing in relation to which it is to have effect.

(4) The condition in this sub-paragraph is that the regulator considers that complying with Part 1 would jeopardise the financial viability of the private registered provider.

(5) The condition in this sub-paragraph is that the circumstances of the private registered provider satisfy requirements prescribed in regulations made by the Secretary of State.

(6) The regulator may publish a document about the measures that the regulator considers could be taken by a private registered provider to comply with Part 1 and to avoid jeopardising its financial viability.

(7) The Secretary of State may issue a direction mentioned in sub-paragraph (8) in respect of a local authority if the condition in sub-paragraph (10) or (11) is satisfied.

(8) The directions are—

(a) a direction that Part 1 does not apply in relation to a local authority specified in the direction;

(b) a direction that Part 1 is to have effect in relation to a local authority specified in the direction as if paragraph 1(4)(c) or (5)(c)—

(i) were omitted,

(ii) required the lesser reduction specified in the direction, or

(iii) required the increase specified in the direction;

(c) a direction that Part 1 is to have effect in relation to a local authority specified in the direction as if—

(i) in paragraph 3(4), “reduced by 1%” were omitted,

(ii) paragraph 3(4) required the lesser reduction specified in the direction, or

(iii) paragraph 3(4) required the increase specified in the direction.

(9) The Secretary of State may specify in a direction—

(a) the period during which it is to have effect, and

(b) the social housing in relation to which it is to have effect.

(10) The condition in this sub-paragraph is that the Secretary of State considers that the local authority would be unable to avoid serious financial difficulties if it were to comply with Part 1.

(11) The condition in this sub-paragraph is that the circumstances of the local authority satisfy requirements prescribed in regulations by the Secretary of State.

(12) The Secretary of State may publish a document about the measures that the Secretary of State considers could be taken by a local authority in order to comply with Part 1 and to avoid serious financial difficulties.

Enforcement

7 The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision about the enforcement of requirements imposed by or under this Schedule, including provision applying Part 2 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 with modifications.