Clause 9 - Enforcement authorities

Part of Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:00 pm on 7 December 2021.

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Photo of Eddie Hughes Eddie Hughes Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) 2:00, 7 December 2021

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Ms Elliott. I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Cities of London and Westminster for her contribution, and also the Opposition spokespeople for their contributions.

I was asked why we are allowing authorities to range outside of their geographical area of responsibility, and whether there is precedent. There is precedent in the Tenant Fees Act 2019. A similar approach has been applied. There might be a landlord in one local authority area that owns some properties in another, and then it is most appropriate for a single local authority to pursue that claim. That is why that ranging is allowed. I much preferred the evocative imagery from the hon. Member for Garston and Halewood of people gallivanting across the country and trying to claim money in other areas, but the explanation is unfortunately much more mundane.

On associated costs for councils from the duty, because the move has been well telegraphed and we expect people to be compliant, we expect the number of claims to be small, but we will continue to review them and will work with the Local Government Association and others to ensure that local authorities are properly remunerated in preparation and that they are properly resourced.