Housing Act 1996
1996 Chapter 52 - continued

 
 

An Act to make provision about housing, including provision about the social rented sector, houses in multiple occupation, landlord and tenant matters, the administration of housing benefit, the conduct of tenants, the allocation of housing accommodation by local housing authorities and homelessness; and for connected purposes.

[24th July 1996]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-
 

  PART I
  SOCIAL RENTED SECTOR
  CHAPTER I
  REGISTERED SOCIAL LANDLORDS
 
Registration
The register of social landlords.     1. - (1) The Corporation shall maintain a register of social landlords which shall be open to inspection at all reasonable times at the head office of the Corporation.
 
      (2) On the commencement of this section every housing association which immediately before commencement was registered in the register kept by the Corporation under Part I of the Housing Associations Act 1985 shall be registered as a social landlord.
 
Eligibility for registration.     2. - (1) A body is eligible for registration as a social landlord if it is-
 
 
    (a) a registered charity which is a housing association,
 
    (b) a society registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965 which satisfies the conditions in subsection (2), or
 
    (c) a company registered under the Companies Act 1985 which satisfies those conditions.
      (2) The conditions are that the body is non-profit-making and is established for the purpose of, or has among its objects or powers, the provision, construction, improvement or management of-
 
 
    (a) houses to be kept available for letting,
 
    (b) houses for occupation by members of the body, where the rules of the body restrict membership to persons entitled or prospectively entitled (as tenants or otherwise) to occupy a house provided or managed by the body, or
 
    (c) hostels,
and that any additional purposes or objects are among those specified in subsection (4).
      (3) For the purposes of this section a body is non-profit-making if-
 
 
    (a) it does not trade for profit, or
 
    (b) its constitution or rules prohibit the issue of capital with interest or dividend exceeding the rate prescribed by the Treasury for the purposes of section 1(1)(b) of the Housing Associations Act 1985.
      (4) The permissible additional purposes or objects are-
 
 
    (a) providing land, amenities or services, or providing, constructing, repairing or improving buildings, for its residents, either exclusively or together with other persons;
 
    (b) acquiring, or repairing and improving, or creating by the conversion of houses or other property, houses to be disposed of on sale, on lease or on shared ownership terms;
 
    (c) constructing houses to be disposed of on shared ownership terms;
 
    (d) managing houses held on leases or other lettings (not being houses within subsection (2)(a) or (b)) or blocks of flats;
 
    (e) providing services of any description for owners or occupiers of houses in arranging or carrying out works of maintenance, repair or improvement, or encouraging or facilitating the carrying out of such works;
 
    (f) encouraging and giving advice on the forming of housing associations or providing services for, and giving advice on the running of, such associations and other voluntary organisations concerned with housing, or matters connected with housing.
      (5) A body is not ineligible for registration as a social landlord by reason only that its powers include power-
 
 
    (a) to acquire commercial premises or businesses as an incidental part of a project or series of projects undertaken for purposes or objects falling within subsection (2) or (4);
 
    (b) to repair, improve or convert commercial premises acquired as mentioned in paragraph (a) or to carry on for a limited period any business so acquired;
 
    (c) to repair or improve houses, or buildings in which houses are situated, after a disposal of the houses by the body by way of sale or lease or on shared ownership terms.
      (6) In this section-
 
 
    "block of flats" means a building containing two or more flats which are held on leases or other lettings and which are occupied or intended to be occupied wholly or mainly for residential purposes;
 
    "disposed of on shared ownership terms" means disposed of on a lease-
 
      (a) granted on a payment of a premium calculated by reference to a percentage of the value of the house or of the cost of providing it, or
 
      (b) under which the tenant (or his personal representatives) will or may be entitled to a sum calculated by reference directly or indirectly to the value of the house;
 
    "letting" includes the grant of a licence to occupy;
 
    "residents", in relation to a body, means persons occupying a house or hostel provided or managed by the body; and
 
    "voluntary organisation" means an organisation whose activities are not carried on for profit.
      (7) The Secretary of State may by order specify permissible purposes, objects or powers additional to those specified in subsections (4) and (5).
 
      The order may (without prejudice to the inclusion of other incidental or supplementary provisions) contain such provision as the Secretary of State thinks fit with respect to the priority of mortgages entered into in pursuance of any additional purposes, objects or powers.
 
      (8) An order under subsection (7) shall be made by statutory instrument which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
 
Registration.     3. - (1) The Corporation may register as a social landlord any body which is eligible for such registration.
 
      (2) An application for registration shall be made in such manner, and shall be accompanied by such fee (if any), as the Corporation may determine.
 
      (3) As soon as may be after registering a body as a social landlord the Corporation shall give notice of the registration-
 
 
    (a) in the case of a registered charity, to the Charity Commissioners,
 
    (b) in the case of an industrial and provident society, to the appropriate registrar, and
 
    (c) in the case of a company registered under the Companies Act 1985 (including such a company which is also a registered charity), to the registrar of companies,
  who shall record the registration.
      (4) A body which at any time is, or was, registered as a social landlord shall, for all purposes other than rectification of the register, be conclusively presumed to be, or to have been, at that time a body eligible for registration as a social landlord.
 
Removal from the register.     4. - (1) A body which has been registered as a social landlord shall not be removed from the register except in accordance with this section.
 
      (2) If it appears to the Corporation that a body which is on the register of social landlords-
 
 
    (a) is no longer a body eligible for such registration, or
 
    (b) has ceased to exist or does not operate,
the Corporation shall, after giving the body at least 14 days' notice, remove it from the register.
      (3) In the case of a body which appears to the Corporation to have ceased to exist or not to operate, notice under subsection (2) shall be deemed to be given to the body if it is served at the address last known to the Corporation to be the principal place of business of the body.
 
      (4) A body which is registered as a social landlord may request the Corporation to remove it from the register and the Corporation may do so, subject to the following provisions.
 
      (5) Before removing a body from the register of social landlords under subsection (4) the Corporation shall consult the local authorities in whose area the body operates; and the Corporation shall also inform those authorities of its decision.
 
      (6) As soon as may be after removing a body from the register of social landlords the Corporation shall give notice of the removal-
 
 
    (a) in the case of a registered charity, to the Charity Commissioners,
 
    (b) in the case of an industrial and provident society, to the appropriate registrar, and
 
    (c) in the case of a company registered under the Companies Act 1985 (including such a company which is also a registered charity), to the registrar of companies,
  who shall record the removal.
Criteria for registration or removal from register.     5. - (1) The Corporation shall establish (and may from time to time vary) criteria which should be satisfied by a body seeking registration as a social landlord; and in deciding whether to register a body the Corporation shall have regard to whether those criteria are met.
 
      (2) The Corporation shall establish (and may from time to time vary) criteria which should be satisfied where such a body seeks to be removed from the register of social landlords; and in deciding whether to remove a body from the register the Corporation shall have regard to whether those criteria are met.
 
      (3) Before establishing or varying any such criteria the Corporation shall consult such bodies representative of registered social landlords, and such bodies representative of local authorities, as it thinks fit.
 
      (4) The Corporation shall publish the criteria for registration and the criteria for removal from the register in such manner as the Corporation considers appropriate for bringing the criteria to the notice of bodies representative of registered social landlords and bodies representative of local authorities.
 
Appeal against decision on removal.     6. - (1) A body which is aggrieved by a decision of the Corporation-
 
 
    (a) not to register it as a social landlord, or
 
    (b) to remove or not to remove it from the register of social landlords,
may appeal against the decision to the High Court.
      (2) If an appeal is brought against a decision relating to the removal of a body from the register, the Corporation shall not remove the body from the register until the appeal has been finally determined or is withdrawn.
 
      (3) As soon as may be after an appeal is brought against a decision relating to the removal of a body from the register, the Corporation shall give notice of the appeal-
 
 
    (a) in the case of a registered charity, to the Charity Commissioners,
 
    (b) in the case of an industrial and provident society, to the appropriate registrar, and
 
    (c) in the case of a company registered under the Companies Act 1985 (including such a company which is also a registered charity), to the registrar of companies.
 
Regulation of registered social landlords
Regulation of registered social landlords.     7. Schedule 1 has effect for the regulation of registered social landlords.

Part I relates to the control of payments to members and similar matters.

Part II relates to the constitution, change of rules, amalgamation or dissolution of a registered social landlord.

Part III relates to accounts and audit.

Part IV relates to inquiries into the affairs of a registered social landlord.
 

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