“Part 1 - Amendments of Housing Act 2004Part 1

Renters (Reform) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:30 pm on 28 November 2023.

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1 The Housing Act 2004 is amended as follows.

2 (1) Section 1 (new system for assessing housing conditions and enforcing housing standards) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (3)(a), omit ‘hazard’.

(3) In subsection (8), after ‘This Part’ insert ‘, except so far as it relates to the requirements specified by regulations under section 2A,’.

3 (1) Section 4 (inspections by local housing authorities) is amended as follows.

(2) For subsection (1) substitute—

‘(1) If a local housing authority consider as a result of any matters of which they have become aware in carrying out their duty under section 3, or for any other reason, that it would be appropriate for any residential premises in their district to be inspected with a view to determining—

(a) whether any category 1 or 2 hazard exists on the premises, or

(b) in the case of qualifying residential premises, whether the premises meet the requirements specified by regulations under section 2A,

the authority must arrange for such an inspection to be carried out.’

(3) In subsection (2)—

(a) omit the ‘or’ at the end of paragraph (a), and

(b) after that paragraph insert—

‘(aa) in the case of qualifying residential premises, that the premises may not meet the requirements specified by regulations under section 2A, or’

(4) After subsection (5) insert—

‘(5A) Regulations made under subsection (4) by the Secretary of State may also make provision about the manner of assessing whether qualifying residential premises meet the requirements specified by regulations under section 2A.’

(5) In subsection (6)—

(a) omit the ‘or’ at the end of paragraph (a), and

(b) after that paragraph insert—

‘(aa) that any qualifying residential premises in their district fail to meet the requirements specified by regulations under section 2A, or’

(6) In the heading, omit ‘to see whether category 1 or 2 hazards exist’.

4 (1) Section 5 (general duty to take enforcement action) is amended as follows.

(2) For subsection (1) substitute—

‘(1) If a local housing authority consider that—

(a) a category 1 hazard exists on any residential premises, or

(b) any qualifying residential premises fail to meet a type 1 requirement,

the authority must take the appropriate enforcement action in relation to the hazard or failure.’

(3) In subsection (2)(c), for ‘a hazard’ substitute ‘an’.

(4) In subsections (3) to (6), after ‘hazard’ (in each place) insert ‘or failure’.

(5) In the heading, after ‘hazards’ insert ‘and type 1 requirements’.

5 In the heading to section 6 (how duty under section 5 operates in certain cases), omit ‘Category 1 hazards’.

6 After section 6 insert—

‘6A Financial penalties relating to category 1 hazards or type 1 requirements

(1) This section applies where—

(a) a local housing authority is required by section 5(1) to take the appropriate enforcement action in relation to—

(i) the existence of a category 1 hazard on qualifying residential premises other than the common parts of a building containing one or more flats, or

(ii) a failure by qualifying residential premises other than the common parts of a building containing one or more flats to meet a type 1 requirement, and

(b) in the opinion of the local housing authority it would have been reasonably practicable for the responsible person to secure the removal of the hazard or the meeting of the requirement.

(2) When first taking that action, the local housing authority may also impose on the responsible person a financial penalty under this section in relation to the hazard or failure.

(3) In subsections (1) and (2), “the responsible person” is the person on whom an improvement notice may be served in accordance with paragraphs A1 to 4 of Schedule 1 in relation to the hazard or failure.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (3)—

(a) it is to be assumed that serving such a notice in relation to the hazard or failure is a course of action available to the authority, and

(b) any reference in paragraphs A1 to 4 of Schedule 1 to “the specified premises” is, in relation to the imposition of a financial penalty under this section, to be read as a reference to the premises specified in the final notice in accordance with paragraph 8(c) of Schedule A1.

(5) In subsection (4)(b), “final notice” has the meaning given by paragraph 6 of Schedule A1.

(6) The amount of the penalty is to be determined by the authority but must not be more than £5,000.

(7) A penalty under this section may relate to—

(a) more than one category 1 hazard on the same premises,

(b) more than one failure to meet type 1 requirements by the same premises, or

(c) any combination of such hazards or failures on or by the same premises.

(8) The Secretary of State may by regulations amend the amount specified in subsection (6) to reflect changes in the value of money.

(9) Schedule A1 makes provision about—

(a) the procedure for imposing a financial penalty under this section,

(b) appeals against financial penalties under this section,

(c) enforcement of financial penalties under this section, and

(d) how local housing authorities are to deal with the proceeds of financial penalties under this section.’

7 (1) Section 7 (powers to take enforcement action) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (1), for ‘that a category 2 hazard exists on residential premises’ substitute ‘that—

(a) a category 2 hazard exists on residential premises, or

(b) qualifying residential premises fail to meet a type 2 requirement.’.

(3) In subsection (2)(c), for ‘a hazard’ substitute ‘an’.

(4) In subsection (3)—

(a) after ‘hazard’ (in the first place) insert ‘or failure to meet a type 2 requirement’, and

(b) after ‘hazard’ (in the second place) insert ‘or failure’.

(5) In the heading, after ‘hazards’ insert ‘and type 2 requirements’.

8 In section 8 (reasons for decision to take enforcement action), in subsection (5)(a), omit ‘hazard’.

9 (1) Section 9 (guidance about inspections and enforcement action) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (1)(b), omit ‘hazard’.

(3) After that subsection insert—

‘(1A) The Secretary of State may give guidance to local housing authorities in England about exercising their functions under this Chapter in relation to—

(a) assessing whether qualifying residential premises meet the requirements specified by regulations under section 2A, or

(b) financial penalties.’.

10 In the heading of Chapter 2 of Part 1 (improvement notices, prohibition orders and hazard awareness notices), omit ‘hazard’.

11 (1) Section 11 (improvement notices relating to category 1 hazards: duty of authority to serve notice) is amended as follows.

(2) For subsection (1) substitute—

‘(1) If—

(a) the local housing authority are satisfied that—

(i) a category 1 hazard exists on any residential premises, or

(ii) any qualifying residential premises fail to meet a type 1 requirement, and

(b) no management order is in force in relation to the premises under Chapter 1 or 2 of Part 4,

serving an improvement notice under this section in respect of the hazard or failure is a course of action available to the authority in relation to the hazard or failure for the purposes of section 5 (category 1 hazards and type 1 requirements: general duty to take enforcement action).’

(3) In subsection (2), after ‘hazard’ insert ‘or failure’.

(4) In subsection (3)(a), after ‘exists’ insert ‘, or which fail to meet the requirement,’.

(5) In subsection (4)—

(a) after ‘exists,’ insert ‘or which fail to meet the requirement,’, and

(b) in paragraph (a), after ‘hazard’ insert ‘or failure’.

(6) In subsection (5)(a), for the words from ‘that’ to ‘but’ substitute ‘that—

(i) if the notice relates to a hazard, the hazard ceases to be a category 1 hazard;

(ii) if the notice relates to a failure by premises to meet a type 1 requirement, the premises meet the requirement; but’.

(7) In subsection (6), for the words from ‘to’ to the end substitute ‘to—

(a) more than one category 1 hazard on the same premises or in the same building containing one or more flats,

(b) more than one failure to meet type 1 requirements by the same premises or the same building containing one or more flats, or

(c) any combination of such hazards and failures—

(i) on or by the same premises, or

(ii) in or by the same building containing one or more flats.’

(8) In subsection (8)—

(a) after ‘hazard’ (in the first place) insert ‘or failure’, and

(b) after ‘hazard’ (in the second place) insert ‘or secure that the premises meet the requirement’.

(9) In the heading, after ‘hazards’ insert ‘and type 1 requirements’.

12 (1) Section 12 (Improvement notices relating to category 2 hazards: power of authority to serve notice) is amended as follows.

(2) For subsection (1) substitute—

‘(1) If—

(a) the local housing authority are satisfied that—

(i) a category 2 hazard exists on any residential premises, or

(ii) any qualifying residential premises fail to meet a type 2 requirement, and

(b) no management order is in force in relation to the premises under Chapter 1 or 2 of Part 4,

the authority may serve an improvement notice under this section in respect of the hazard or failure.’

(3) In subsection (2), after ‘hazard’ insert ‘or failure’.

(4) In subsection (4), for the words from ‘to’ to the end substitute ‘to—

(a) more than one category 2 hazard on the same premises or in the same building containing one or more flats,

(b) more than one failure to meet type 2 requirements by the same premises or the same building containing one or more flats, or

(c) any combination of such hazards and failures—

(i) on or by the same premises, or

(ii) in or by the same building containing one or more flats.’

(5) In the heading, after ‘hazards’ insert ‘and type 2 requirements’.

13 (1) Section 13 (Contents of improvement notices) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (2)—

(a) after ‘hazard’ (in each place) insert ‘or failure’,

(b) after ‘hazards’ insert ‘or failures’, and

(c) in paragraph (b), after ‘exists’ insert ‘or to which it relates’.

(3) In subsection (5), after ‘hazard’ insert ‘or failure’.

14 In section 16(3) (revocation and variation of improvement notices)—

(a) after ‘hazards’ (in the first place) insert ‘or failures (or a combination of hazards and failures)’, and

(b) in paragraph (a), after ‘hazards’ insert ‘or failures’.

15 (1) Section 19 (change in person liable to comply with improvement notice) is amended as follows.

(2) For subsection (2) substitute—

‘(2) In subsection (1), the reference to a person ceasing to be a “person of the relevant category”—

(a) in the case of an improvement notice served on a landlord or superior landlord under paragraph A1(2) of Schedule 1, is a reference to the person ceasing to hold the estate in the premises by virtue of which the person was the landlord or superior landlord, and

(b) in any other case, is a reference to the person ceasing to fall within the description of person (such as, for example, the holder of a licence under Part 2 or 3 or the person managing a dwelling) by reference to which the notice was served on the person.’

(3) In subsection (7), for ‘or (9)’ substitute ‘, (9) or (10)’.

(4) After subsection (9) insert—

‘(10) If—

(a) the original recipient was served as a landlord or superior landlord under paragraph A1(2) of Schedule 1, and

(b) the original recipient ceases as from the changeover date to be a person of the relevant category as a result of ceasing to hold the estate in the premises by virtue of which the person was the landlord or superior landlord,

the new holder of the estate or, if the estate has ceased to exist, the reversioner, is the “liable person”.’

16 (1) In section 20 (prohibition orders relating to category 1 hazards: duty of authority to make order) is amended as follows.

(2) For subsection (1) substitute—

‘(1) If—

(a) the local housing authority are satisfied that—

(i) a category 1 hazard exists on any residential premises, or

(ii) any qualifying residential premises fail to meet a type 1 requirement, and

(b) no management order is in force in relation to the premises under Chapter 1 or 2 of Part 4,

making a prohibition order under this section in respect of the hazard or failure is a course of action available to the authority in relation to the hazard or failure for the purposes of section 5 (category 1 hazards and type 1 requirements: general duty to take enforcement action).’

(3) In subsection (3)—

(a) in paragraph (a), after ‘exists’ insert ‘, or which fail to meet the requirement,’, and

(b) for paragraph (b) substitute—

‘(b) if those premises are—

(i) one or more flats, or

(ii) accommodation falling within paragraph (e) of the definition of ‘residential premises’ in section 1(4) (homelessness) that is not a dwelling, HMO or flat,

it may prohibit the use of the building containing the flat or flats or accommodation (or any part of the building) or any external common parts;’.

(4) In subsection (4)—

(a) after ‘exists,’ insert ‘or which fail to meet the requirement,’, and

(b) in paragraph (a), after ‘hazard’ insert ‘or failure’.

(5) In subsection (5), for the words from ‘to’ to the end substitute ‘to—

(a) more than one category 1 hazard on the same premises or in the same building containing one or more flats,

(b) more than one failure to meet type 1 requirements by the same premises or the same building containing one or more flats, or

(c) any combination of such hazards and failures—

(i) on or by the same premises, or

(ii) in or by the same building containing one or more flats.’

(6) In the heading, after ‘hazards’ insert ‘and type 1 requirements’.

17 (1) Section 21 (prohibition orders relating to category 2 hazards: power of authority to make order) is amended as follows.

(2) For subsection (1) substitute—

‘(1) If—

(a) the local housing authority are satisfied that—

(i) a category 2 hazard exists on any residential premises, or

(ii) any qualifying residential premises fail to meet a type 2 requirement, and

(b) no management order is in force in relation to the premises under Chapter 1 or 2 of Part 4,

the authority may make a prohibition order under this section in respect of the hazard or failure.’

(3) In subsection (4), for the words from ‘to’ to the end substitute ‘to—

(a) more than one category 2 hazard on the same premises or in the same building containing one or more flats,

(b) more than one failure to meet type 2 requirements by the same premises or the same building containing one or more flats, or

(c) any combination of such hazards and failures—

(i) on or by the same premises, or

(ii) in or by the same building containing one or more flats.’

(4) In the heading, after ‘hazards’ insert ‘and type 2 requirements’.

18 (1) Section 22 (contents of prohibition orders) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (2)—

(a) after ‘hazard’ (in each place) insert ‘or failure’,

(b) after ‘hazards’ insert ‘or failures’, and

(c) in paragraph (b), after ‘exists’ insert ‘or to which it relates’.

(3) In subsection (3)(b), after ‘hazards’ insert ‘, or failure or failures,’.

19 (1) Section 25 (revocation and variation of prohibition orders) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (1), for the words from ‘that’ to the end substitute ‘that—

(a) in the case of an order made in respect of a hazard, the hazard does not then exist on the residential premises specified in the order in accordance with section 22(2)(b), and

(b) in the case of an order made in respect of a failure by premises so specified to meet a requirement specified by regulations under section 2A, the premises then meet the requirement.’

(3) In subsection (3)—

(a) after ‘hazards’ (in the first place) insert ‘or failures (or a combination of hazards and failures)’, and

(b) in paragraph (a), after ‘hazards’ insert ‘or failures’.

20 In the italic heading before section 28, omit ‘Hazard’.

21 (1) Section 28 (hazard awareness notices relating to category 1 hazards: duty of authority to serve notice) is amended as follows.

(2) For subsections (1) and (2) substitute—

‘(1) If—

(a) the local housing authority are satisfied that—

(i) a category 1 hazard exists on any residential premises, or

(ii) any qualifying residential premises fail to meet a type 1 requirement, and

(b) no management order is in force in relation to the premises under Chapter 1 or 2 of Part 4,

serving an awareness notice under this section in respect of the hazard or failure is a course of action available to the authority in relation to the hazard or failure for the purposes of section 5 (category 1 hazards and type 1 requirements: general duty to take enforcement action).

(2) An awareness notice under this section is a notice advising the person on whom it is served of—

(a) the existence of a category 1 hazard on, or

(b) a failure to meet a type 1 requirement by,

the residential premises concerned which arises as a result of a deficiency on the premises in respect of which the notice is served.’

(3) In subsection (3)(a), after ‘exists’ insert ‘, or which fail to meet the requirement,’.

(4) In subsection (4)—

(a) after ‘exists,’ insert ‘or which fail to meet the requirement,’, and

(b) in paragraph (a), after ‘hazard’ insert ‘or failure’.

(5) In subsection (5), for the words from ‘to’ to the end substitute ‘to—

(a) more than one category 1 hazard on the same premises or in the same building containing one or more flats,

(b) more than one failure to meet type 1 requirements by the same premises or the same building containing one or more flats, or

(c) any combination of such hazards and failures—

(i) on or by the same premises, or

(ii) in or by the same building containing one or more flats.’

(6) In subsection (6)—

(a) after ‘hazard’ (in each place) insert ‘or failure’,

(b) after ‘hazards’ insert ‘or failures’, and

(c) in paragraph (a), after ‘exists’ insert ‘or to which it relates’.

(7) In subsection (8), for ‘a hazard’ substitute ‘an’.

(8) At the end insert—

‘(9) A notice under this section in respect of residential premises in Wales is to be known as a “hazard awareness notice”.’

(9) In the heading—

(a) omit ‘Hazard’, and

(b) after ‘category 1 hazards’ insert ‘and type 1 requirements’.

22 (1) Section 29 (hazard awareness notices relating to category 2 hazards: power of authority to serve notice) is amended as follows.

(2) For subsections (1) and (2) substitute—

‘(1) If—

(a) the local housing authority are satisfied that—

(i) a category 2 hazard exists on any residential premises, or

(ii) any qualifying residential premises fail to meet a type 2 requirement, and

(b) no management order is in force in relation to the premises under Chapter 1 or 2 of Part 4,

the authority may serve an awareness notice under this section in respect of the hazard or failure.

(2) An awareness notice under this section is a notice advising the person on whom it is served of—

(a) the existence of a category 2 hazard on, or

(b) a failure to meet a type 2 requirement by,

the residential premises concerned which arises as a result of a deficiency on the premises in respect of which the notice is served.’

(3) In subsection (3), for ‘a hazard’ substitute ‘an’.

(4) In subsection (4), for the words from ‘to’ to the end substitute ‘to—

(a) more than one category 2 hazard on the same premises or in the same building containing one or more flats,

(b) more than one failure to meet type 2 requirements by the same premises or the same building containing one or more flats, or

(c) any combination of such hazards and failures—

(i) on or by the same premises, or

(ii) in or by the same building containing one or more flats.’

(5) In subsection (5)—

(a) after ‘hazard’ (in each place) insert ‘or failure’,

(b) after ‘hazards’ insert ‘or failures’, and

(c) in paragraph (a), after ‘exists’ insert ‘or to which it relates’.

(6) In subsection (8), for ‘a hazard’ substitute ‘an’.

(7) At the end insert—

‘(9) A notice under this section in respect of residential premises in Wales is to be known as a “hazard awareness notice”.’

(8) In the heading—

(a) omit ‘Hazard’, and

(b) after ‘category 2 hazards’ insert ‘and type 2 requirements’.

23 (1) Section 30 (offence of failing to comply with improvement notice) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (2), after ‘hazard’ insert ‘or failure’.

(3) In subsection (3), omit ‘not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale’.

(4) in subsection (5), after ‘hazard’ insert ‘or failure’.

24 In section 32 (offence of failing to comply with prohibition order etc), in subsection (2)(a), omit ‘not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale’.

25 In section 35 (power of court to order occupier or owner to allow action to be taken on premises), for the definition of ‘relevant person’ in subsection (8) substitute—

‘“relevant person” , in relation to any premises, means—

(a) a person who is an owner of the premises;

(b) a person having control of or managing the premises;

(c) the holder of any licence under Part 2 or 3 in respect of the premises;

(d) in the case of qualifying residential premises which are let under a relevant tenancy, the landlord under the tenancy and any person who is a superior landlord in relation to the tenancy.’.

26 (1) Section 40 (emergency remedial action) is amended as follows.

(2) For subsection (1) substitute—

‘(1) If—

(a) the local housing authority are satisfied that—

(i) a category 1 hazard exists on any residential premises, or

(ii) any qualifying residential premises fail to meet a type 1 requirement, and

(b) they are further satisfied that the hazard or failure involves an imminent risk of serious harm to the health or safety of any of the occupiers of those or any other residential premises, and

(c) no management order is in force under Chapter 1 or 2 of Part 4 in relation to the premises mentioned in paragraph (a)(i) or (ii),

the taking by the authority of emergency remedial action under this section in respect of the hazard or failure is a course of action available to the authority in relation to the hazard or failure for the purposes of section 5 (category 1 hazards and type 1 requirements: general duty to take enforcement action).’

(3) In subsection (2), after ‘hazard’ insert ‘or failure’.

(4) In subsection (4), for the words from ‘of’ to the end substitute ‘of—

(a) more than one category 1 hazard on the same premises or in the same building containing one or more flats,

(b) more than one failure to meet type 2 requirements by the same premises or the same building containing one or more flats, or

(c) any combination of such hazards and failures—

(i) on or by the same premises, or

(ii) in or by the same building containing one or more flats.’

27 In section 41 (notice of emergency remedial action), in subsection (2)—

(a) after ‘hazard’ (in each place) insert ‘or failure’,

(b) after ‘hazards’ insert ‘or failures’, and

(c) in paragraph (a), after ‘exists’ insert ‘or to which it relates’.

28 In section 43 (emergency prohibition notices), for subsection (1) substitute—

‘(1) If—

(a) the local housing authority are satisfied that—

(i) a category 1 hazard exists on any residential premises, or

(ii) any qualifying residential premises fail to meet a type 1 requirement, and

(b) they are further satisfied that the hazard or failure involves an imminent risk of serious harm to the health or safety of any of the occupiers of those or any other residential premises, and

(c) no management order is in force under Chapter 1 or 2 of Part 4 in relation to the premises mentioned in paragraph (a)(i) or (ii),

making an emergency prohibition order under this section in respect of the hazard or failure is a course of action available to the authority in relation to the hazard or failure for the purposes of section 5 (category 1 hazards and type 1 requirements: general duty to take enforcement action).’

29 In section 44 (contents of emergency prohibition orders), in subsection (2)—

(a) after ‘hazard’ (in each place) insert ‘or failure’,

(b) after ‘hazards’ insert ‘or failures’, and

(c) in paragraph (a), after ‘exists’ insert ‘or to which it relates’.

30 In section 49 (power to charge for certain enforcement action)—

(a) in subsection (1)(c), for ‘a hazard’ substitute ‘an’, and

(b) in subsection (2), for ‘a hazard’ substitute ‘an’.

31 In section 50 (recovery of charge under section 49), in subsection (2)(b), for ‘a hazard’ substitute ‘an’.

32 In section 54 (index of defined expressions: Part 1)—

(a) at the appropriate places insert—

‘Qualifying residential premises

Section 2B(1)’;

‘Relevant tenancy

Section 2B(2)’;

‘Social housing

Section 2B(2)’;

‘Supported exempt accommodation

Section 2B(2)’;

‘Type 1 requirement

Section 2A(3)(a)’;

‘Type 2 requirement

Section 2A(3)(b), and

Section 2B(1)’;

Section 2B(2)’;

Section 2B(2)’;

Section 2B(2)’;

Section 2A(3)(a)’;

Section 2A(3)(b)’

(b) in the entry for ‘Hazard awareness notice’, in the first column, omit ‘Hazard’ (and, accordingly, move the entry to the appropriate place).

33 (1) Section 250 (orders and regulations) is amended as follows.

(2) After subsection (2) insert—

‘(2A) The power under subsection (2)(b) includes power—

(a) to provide for regulations under sections 2A and 2B(3) to apply (with or without modifications) in relation to tenancies or licences entered into before the date on which the regulations come into force;

(b) for regulations under section 2B(3)(b) to provide for Part 1 to apply in relation to licences with such modifications as may be specified in the regulations.’

(3) In subsection (6), before paragraph (a) insert—

‘(za) regulations under sections 2A and 2B(3),’

34 Before Schedule 1 insert—

‘Schedule A1

Procedure and appeals relating to financial penalties under section 6A

Notice of intent

1 Before imposing a financial penalty on a person under section 6A a local housing authority must give the person notice of the authority’s proposal to do so (a “notice of intent”).

2 The notice of intent must be given before the end of the period of 6 months beginning with the first day on which the authority has evidence sufficient to require it to take the appropriate enforcement action under section 5(1) in relation to—

(a) the existence of the category 1 hazard, or

(b) the failure to meet the type 1 requirement.

3 The notice of intent must set out—

(a) the date on which the notice of intent is given,

(b) the amount of the proposed financial penalty,

(c) the reasons for proposing to impose the penalty,

(d) information about the right to make representations under paragraph 4.

Right to make representations

4 (1) A person who is given a notice of intent may make written representations to the authority about the proposal to impose a financial penalty.

(2) Any representations must be made within the period of 28 days beginning with the day after the day on which the notice of intent was given (“the period for representations”).

Final notice

5 After the end of the period for representations the local housing authority must—

(a) decide whether to impose a financial penalty on the person, and

(b) if it decides to do so, decide the amount of the penalty.

6 If the local housing authority decides to impose a financial penalty on the person, it must give a notice to the person (a “final notice”) imposing that penalty.

7 The final notice must require the penalty to be paid within the period of 28 days beginning with the day after that on which the notice was given.

8 The final notice must set out—

(a) the date on which the final notice is given,

(b) the amount of the financial penalty,

(c) the premises—

(i) on which the authority considers a category 1 hazard exists;

(ii) which the authority considers fail to meet a type 1 requirement,

(d) the reasons for imposing the penalty,

(e) information about how to the pay the penalty,

(f) the period for payment of the penalty,

(g) information about rights of appeal, and

(h) the consequences of failure to comply with the notice.

Withdrawal or amendment of notice

9 (1) A local housing authority may at any time—

(a) withdraw a notice of intent or final notice, or

(b) reduce an amount specified in a notice of intent or final notice.

(2) The power in sub-paragraph (1) is to be exercised by giving notice in writing to the person to whom the notice was given.

Appeals

10 (1) A person to whom a final notice is given may appeal to the First-tier Tribunal against—

(a) the decision to impose the penalty, or

(b) the amount of the penalty.

(2) An appeal under this paragraph must be brought within the period of 28 days beginning with the day after that on which the final notice is given to the person.

(3) If a person appeals under this paragraph, the final notice is suspended until the appeal is finally determined, withdrawn or abandoned.

(4) An appeal under this paragraph—

(a) is to be a re-hearing of the authority’s decision, but

(b) may be determined having regard to matters of which the authority was unaware.

(5) On an appeal under this paragraph the First-tier Tribunal may quash, confirm or vary the final notice.

(6) The final notice may not be varied under sub-paragraph (5) so as to impose a financial penalty of more than the local housing authority could have imposed.

Recovery of financial penalty

11 (1) This paragraph applies if a person fails to pay the whole or any part of a financial penalty which, in accordance with this Schedule, the person is liable to pay.

(2) The local housing authority which imposed the financial penalty may recover the penalty, or part of it, on the order of the county court as if it were payable under an order of that court.

(3) In proceedings before the county court for the recovery of a financial penalty or part of a financial penalty, a certificate which is—

(a) signed by the chief finance officer of the authority which imposed the financial penalty, and

(b) states that the amount due has not been received by a date specified in the certificate,

is conclusive evidence of that fact.

(4) A certificate to that effect and purporting to be so signed is to be treated as being so signed unless the contrary is proved.

(5) In this paragraph “chief finance officer” has the same meaning as in section 5 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989.

Proceeds of financial penalties

12 Where a local housing authority imposes a financial penalty under section 6A, it may apply the proceeds towards meeting the costs and expenses (whether administrative or legal) incurred in, or associated with, carrying out any of its enforcement functions under Part 1 of this Act, the Renters (Reform) Act 2024 or otherwise in relation to the private rented sector.

13 Any proceeds of a financial penalty imposed under section 6A which are not applied in accordance with paragraph 12 must be paid to the Secretary of State.

(1) In paragraph 12, the reference to enforcement functions “in relation to the private rented sector” means enforcement functions relating to—

(a) residential premises in England that are let, or intended to be let, under a tenancy,

(b) the common parts of such premises,

(c) the activities of a landlord under a tenancy of residential premises in England,

(d) the activities of a superior landlord in relation to such a tenancy,

(e) the activities of a person carrying on English letting agency work within the meaning of section 54 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 in relation to such premises, or

(f) the activities of a person carrying on English property management work within the meaning of section 55 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 in relation to such premises.

(2) For the purposes of this paragraph ‘residential premises’ does not include social housing.

(3) For the purposes of this paragraph “tenancy” includes a licence to occupy.’

35 (1) Schedule 1 (procedure and appeals relating to improvement notices) is amended as follows.

(2) Before paragraph 1 insert—

‘Service of improvement notices: qualifying residential premises which fail to meet type 1 and 2 requirements

A1 (1) This paragraph applies instead of paragraphs 1 to 3 where—

(a) the specified premises are qualifying residential premises by virtue of section 2B(1)(a), (b) or (c), and

(b) an improvement notice relates to a failure by the premises to meet a requirement specified by regulations under section 2A (whether or not the notice also relates to a category 1 or 2 hazard).

(2) Where the premises are let under a relevant tenancy, or are an HMO where at least one unit of accommodation which forms part of the HMO is let under a relevant tenancy, the notice must be served on the landlord under the tenancy unless—

(a) the tenancy is a sub-tenancy, in which case the notice may instead be served on a superior landlord in relation to the tenancy if, in the opinion of the local housing authority, the superior landlord ought to take the action specified in the notice;

(b) the premises are a dwelling which is licensed under Part 3 of this Act, or an HMO which is licensed under Part 2 or 3 of this Act, in which case the notice may instead be served on the holder of the licence if, in the opinion of the local housing authority, the holder ought to take the action specified in the notice.

(3) Where sub-paragraph (2) does not apply in relation to the premises and—

(a) the premises are supported exempt accommodation, the notice must be served on the authority or body which provides the accommodation;

(b) the premises are accommodation falling within paragraph (e) of the definition of “residential premises” in section 1(4) (homelessness), the notice must be served on any person who has an estate or interest in the premises and who, in the opinion the local housing authority, ought to take the action specified in the notice.’

(3) In paragraph 5(1), for ‘1 to’ substitute ‘A1 to’.

(4) In paragraph 12—

(a) in sub-paragraph (1), after ‘hazard’ insert ‘or failure’, and

(b) in sub-paragraph (2)(b), for ‘a hazard’ substitute ‘an’.

(5) In paragraph 17, after ‘hazard’ (in each place) insert ‘or failure’.

36 (1) Schedule 2 (procedure and appeals relating to prohibition orders) is amended as follows.

(2) In paragraph 1—

(a) after sub-paragraph (2) insert—

‘(2A) Where the specified premises are qualifying residential premises which—

(a) are let under a relevant tenancy, or

(b) are an HMO where at least one unit of accommodation which forms part of the HMO is let on a relevant tenancy,

the authority must also serve copies of the order on any other person who, to their knowledge, is the landlord under the tenancy or a superior landlord in relation to the tenancy.’, and

(b) in sub-paragraph (3), after ‘(2)’ insert ‘or (2A)’.

(3) In paragraph 2—

(a) for sub-paragraph (1) substitute—

‘(1) This paragraph applies to a prohibition order where the specified premises consist of or include—

(a) the whole or any part of a building containing—

(i) one or more flats, or

(ii) accommodation falling within paragraph (e) of the definition of “residential premises” in section 1(4) (homelessness) that is not a dwelling, HMO or flat, or

(b) any common parts of such a building.’

(b) after sub-paragraph (2) insert—

‘(2A) Where the specified premises consist of or include qualifying residential premises which—

(a) are let under a relevant tenancy, or

(b) are an HMO where at least one unit of accommodation which forms part of the HMO is let on a relevant tenancy,

the authority must also serve copies of the order on any other person who, to their knowledge, is the landlord under the tenancy or a superior landlord in relation to the tenancy.’,

(c) in sub-paragraph (3), after ‘(2)’ insert ‘or (2A)’, and

(d) in sub-paragraph (4), after ‘(2)’ insert ‘, (2A)’.

(4) In paragraph 8—

(a) in sub-paragraph (1), after ‘hazard’ insert ‘or failure’, and

(b) in sub-paragraph (2)(b), for ‘a hazard’ substitute ‘an’.

(5) In paragraph 12, after ‘hazard’ (in each place) insert ‘or failure’.

(6) In paragraph 16(1)—

(a) omit the ‘or’ at the end of paragraph (b), and

(b) at the end of paragraph (c) insert ‘, or

(d) in the case of qualifying residential premises which—

(i) are let under a relevant tenancy, or

(ii) are an HMO where at least one unit of accommodation which forms part of the HMO is let on a relevant tenancy,

any person on whom copies of the improvement notice are required to be served by paragraph 1(2A) or 2(2A).’

37 (1) Schedule 3 (improvement notices: enforcement action by local housing authorities) is amended as follows.

(2) In paragraph 3, after ‘hazard’ (in each place) insert ‘or failure’.

(3) In paragraph 4, after ‘hazard’ (in both places) insert ‘or failure’.

Part 2

Amendments of other Acts

Land Compensation Act 1973

38 (1) Section 33D of the Land Compensation Act 1973 (loss payments: exclusions) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (4)—

(a) in paragraph (b), after ‘hazard’ insert ‘or type 1 requirement’, and

(b) in paragraph (c), after ‘hazard’ insert ‘or type 2 requirement’.

(3) In subsection (5)—

(a) in paragraph (a), after ‘hazard’ insert ‘or type 1 requirement’, and

(b) in paragraph (b), after ‘hazard’ insert ‘or type 2 requirement’.

Housing Act 1985

39 In section 269A of the Housing Act 1985 (appeals suggesting certain other courses of action), in subsection (2)(c), for ‘a hazard’ substitute ‘an’.

Housing and Regeneration Act 2008

40 In section 126B of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 (functions of health and safety lead), in subsection (3)(b)(ii), after ‘hazards’ insert ‘and type 1 and 2 requirements’.

Deregulation Act 2015

41 In section 33(13) of the Deregulation Act 2015 (preventing retaliatory eviction: definitions), in the definition of ‘relevant notice’—

(a) in paragraph (a), after ‘hazards’ insert ‘and type 1 requirements’, and

(b) in paragraph (b), after ‘hazards’ insert ‘and type 2 requirements’.

Housing and Planning Act 2016

42 In section 40(4) of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 (offences under sections 30(1) and 32(1) of the Housing Act 2004), after ‘on’ insert ‘, or a failure to meet a requirement by,’.

Tenant Fees Act 2019

43 In Schedule 3 to the Tenant Fees Act 2019 (financial penalties), in paragraph 12(1), after paragraph (c) insert—

‘(ca) the activities of a superior landlord in relation to such a tenancy,’.”—(Jacob Young.)

This new Schedule contains amendments of Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004 that provide for the enforcement of requirements imposed by regulations under new section 2A of that Act, inserted by NC20. The Schedule also allows financial penalties to be imposed for certain breaches of Part 1 of that Act, and makes consequential amendments of other Acts.

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

Question proposed, That the Chair do report the Bill, as amended, to the House.

Photo of Jacob Young Jacob Young Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

Ms Fovargue, I would like to put on record my thanks to you and the other Chairs of this Bill Committee; to all the Clerks and parliamentary staff; and to the many other people who have worked hard on this Bill, including all my officials and my private office, who have had to get up to date with this Bill in a matter of weeks.

I thank all members of the Committee, including Opposition Members, for their constructive dialogue. We have had some robust debate on several measures, but I hope we can all agree that these are important reforms—the first in a generation—for landlords and tenants. I look forward to further engagement with all hon. Members as the Bill progresses through its remaining stages.

Photo of Matthew Pennycook Matthew Pennycook Shadow Minister (Levelling Up, Housing, Communities and Local Government)

Ms Fovargue, may I take the opportunity to put on record our thanks to you and your colleagues in the Chair for overseeing our proceedings? I also thank our exemplary Clerks for all their assistance; the Doorkeepers and Hansard reporters for facilitating the Committee’s work; and officials in the Department and our own staff for the support that they have provided. Finally, I thank the Minister—as well as the occasional Government Back Bencher who has defied the orders of the hon. Member for South West Hertfordshire and contributed to our debate. [Laughter.] There has been the odd robust exchange, but none has been uncivil, and we appreciate the spirit in which consideration of the Bill has taken place.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill, as amended, accordingly to be reported.

Committee rose.

Written evidence reported to the House

RRB44 Unipol Student Homes

RRB45 Greater Manchester Combined Authority

RRB46 National Housing Federation

RRB47 StepChange Debt Charity

RRB48 Propertymark

RRB49 London Councils

RRB50 Chartered Institute of Environmental Health