Housing Act 1996
1996 Chapter 52 - continued

 
Registration schemes: special control provisions.     67. - (1) In Part XI of the Housing Act 1985 (houses in multiple occupation), after section 348A (as inserted by section 66 above) insert-
 
 
"Special control provisions.     348B. - (1) A registration scheme which contains control provisions may also contain special control provisions, that is, provisions for preventing houses in multiple occupation, by reason of their existence or the behaviour of their residents, from adversely affecting the amenity or character of the area in which they are situated.
 
    (2) Special control provisions may provide for the refusal or revocation of registration, for reducing the number of households or persons for which a house is registered and for imposing conditions of registration.
 
      (3) The conditions of registration may include conditions relating to the management of the house or the behaviour of its occupants.
 
      (4) Special control provisions may authorise the revocation of registration in the case of-
 
 
    (a) occupation of the house by more households or persons than the registration permits, or
 
    (b) a breach of any condition imposed in pursuance of the special control provisions,
  which is due to a relevant management failure.
      (5) Special control provisions shall not authorise the refusal of-
 
 
    (a) an application for first registration of a house which has been in operation as a house in multiple occupation since before the introduction by the local housing authority of a registration scheme with special control provisions, or
 
    (b) any application for renewal of registration of a house previously registered under such a scheme,
  unless there has been a relevant management failure.
      (6) Special control provisions may provide that in any other case where an application is made for first registration of a house the local housing authority may take into account the number of houses in multiple occupation in the vicinity in deciding whether to permit or refuse registration.
 
Special control provisions: general provisions as to decisions and appeals.     348C. - (1) Special control provisions shall provide that the local housing authority shall give a written statement of their reasons to the applicant where they refuse to grant his application for first registration, or for a renewal or variation of a registration, or impose conditions of registration on such an application.
 
      (2) Special control provisions shall provide that the authority shall give written notice to the person having control of the house and the person managing it of any decision by the authority-
 
 
    (a) to vary the conditions of registration (otherwise than on an application to which subsection (1) applies), or
 
    (b) to revoke the registration of the house,
 
      (3) Where in accordance with special control provisions the local housing authority-
 
 
    (a) notify an applicant that they refuse to grant his application for first registration or for the renewal or variation of a registration,
 
    (b) notify such an applicant of the imposition of conditions of registration, or
 
    (c) give notice to the person having control or the person managing the house of any such decision as is mentioned in subsection (2),
  that person may, within 21 days of being so notified, or such longer period as the authority may in writing allow, appeal to the county court.
      (4) If on appeal it appears to the court-
 
 
    (a) that there has been any informality, defect or error in, or in connection with, the authority's decision, or
 
    (b) that the authority acted unreasonably,
  the court may reverse or vary the decision of the authority.
      (5) In so far as an appeal is based on the ground mentioned in subsection (4)(a), the court shall dismiss the appeal if it is satisfied that the informality, defect or error was not a material one.
 
      (6) Where the decision of the authority was a refusal-
 
 
    (a) to grant an application for first registration of a house, or
 
    (b) for the renewal or variation of the registration,
  the court may direct the authority to grant the application as made or as varied in such manner as the court may direct.
      (7) Where the decision of the authority was to impose conditions of registration, the court may direct the authority to grant the application without imposing the conditions or to impose the conditions as varied in such manner as the court may direct.
 
Special control provisions: occupancy directions.     348D. - (1) Special control provisions may provide that where the local housing authority decide that the registration of a house should be revoked the authority may direct that the level of occupation of the house be reduced, within such period of not less than 28 days as they may direct, to a level such that the registration scheme does not apply.
 
      Such a direction is referred to in this Part as an "occupancy direction".
 
      (2) Special control provisions shall provide that the authority shall only make an occupancy direction if it appears to the authority that there has been a relevant management failure resulting in a serious adverse effect on the amenity or character of the area in which the house is situated.
 
      (3) In considering whether to make an occupancy direction the authority shall take into account the interests of the occupants of the house and the person having control of the house as well as the interests of local residents and businesses.
 
      (4) Special control provisions may require the person having control of the house, and the person managing it, to take all reasonably practicable steps to comply with an occupancy direction.
 
      (5) Nothing in Part I of the Housing Act 1988 prevents possession being obtained by any person in order to comply with an occupancy direction.
 
      (6) Nothing in this section affects any liability in respect of any other contravention or failure to comply with control provisions or special control provisions.
 
Special control provisions: decisions and appeals relating to occupancy directions.     348E. - (1) Special control provisions shall provide that where the local housing authority make an occupancy direction in respect of a house they shall give written notice of the direction to the person having control of the house and the person managing it and at the same time give them a written statement of the authority's reasons.
 
      (2) A person aggrieved by an occupancy direction may, within 21 days after the date of the service of notice as mentioned in subsection (1), appeal to the county court.
 
      (3) If on appeal it appears to the court-
 
 
    (a) that there has been any informality, defect or error in, or in connection with, the authority's decision, or
 
    (b) that the authority acted unreasonably,
  the court may make such order either confirming, quashing or varying the notice as it thinks fit.
      (4) In so far as an appeal is based on the ground mentioned in subsection (3)(a), the court shall dismiss the appeal if it is satisfied that the informality, defect or error was not a material one.
 
      (5) If an appeal is brought the direction does not become operative until-
 
 
    (a) a decision on the appeal confirming the direction (with or without variation) is given and the period within which an appeal to the Court of Appeal may be brought expires without any such appeal having been brought, or
 
    (b) if a further appeal to the Court of Appeal is brought, a decision on that appeal is given confirming the direction (with or without variation).
      (6) For this purpose the withdrawal of an appeal has the same effect as a decision confirming the direction or decision appealed against.
 
Special control provisions: "relevant management failure".     348F. A "relevant management failure" for the purposes of sections 348B to 348E (special control provisions) means a failure on the part of the person having control of, or the person managing, a house in multiple occupation to take such steps as are reasonably practicable to prevent the existence of the house or the behaviour of its residents from adversely affecting the amenity or character of the area in which the house is situated, or to reduce any such adverse effect.".
 
      (2) In section 400 of the Housing Act 1985 (index of defined expressions: Part XI), at the appropriate places insert-
 
 
 
"occupancy direction (in connection with special control provisions)
 
section 348D
 
relevant management failure (for purposes of sections 348B to 348E)
 
section 348F
 
special control provisions
 
section 348B".
Offences in connection with registration schemes.     68. - (1) In Part XI of the Housing Act 1985, after section 348F (as inserted by section 67 above) insert-
 
 
"Offences in connection with registration schemes.     348G. - (1) A person who contravenes or fails to comply with a provision of a registration scheme commits an offence.
 
    (2) A person who commits an offence under this section consisting of a contravention of so much of control provisions as relates-
 
 
    (a) to occupation to a greater extent than permitted under those provisions of a house which is not registered, or
 
    (b) to occupation of a house which is registered by more households or persons than the registration permits,
  is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.
      (3) A person who commits an offence under this section consisting of a contravention of so much of special control provisions as requires all reasonably practicable steps to be taken to comply with an occupancy direction is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.
 
      (4) A person who commits any other offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale.".
 
      (2) In section 395(2) of the Housing Act 1985 (power of entry to ascertain if offence being committed), for "section 346(6)" substitute "section 348G".
 
Information requirements in connection with registration schemes.     69. - (1) In Part XI of the Housing Act 1985 (houses in multiple occupation), for section 349 (steps required to inform public about registration schemes) substitute-
 
 
"Steps required to inform public about schemes.     349. - (1) Where a local housing authority intend to make a registration scheme which does not require confirmation by the Secretary of State, they shall publish notice of their intention at least one month before the scheme is made.
 
    As soon as the scheme is made, the local housing authority shall publish a notice stating-
 
 
    (a) that a registration scheme which does not require confirmation has been made, and
 
    (b) the date on which the scheme is to come into force.
      (2) Where a local housing authority intend to submit to the Secretary of State a registration scheme which requires his confirmation, they shall publish notice of their intention at least one month before the scheme is submitted.
 
      As soon as the scheme is confirmed, the local housing authority shall publish a notice stating-
 
 
    (a) that a registration scheme has been confirmed, and
 
    (b) the date on which the scheme is to come into force.
      (3) A notice under subsection (1) or (2) of the authority's intention to make a scheme or submit a scheme for confirmation shall-
 
 
    (a) describe any steps which will have to be taken under the scheme by those concerned with registrable houses (other than steps which have only to be taken after a notice from the authority), and
 
    (b) name a place where a copy of the scheme may be seen at all reasonable hours.
      (4) After publication of notice under subsection (1) or (2) that a registration scheme has been made or confirmed, and for as long as the scheme is in force, the local housing authority-
 
 
    (a) shall keep a copy of the scheme, and of the register, available for public inspection at the offices of the authority free of charge at all reasonable hours, and
 
    (b) on request, and on payment of such reasonable fee as the authority may require, shall supply a copy of the scheme or the register, or of any entry in the register, to any person.
      (5) If the local housing authority revoke a registration scheme by order they shall publish notice of the order.
 
      (6) In this section "publish" means publish in one or more newspapers circulating in the district of the local housing authority concerned.".
 
      (2) In section 350(1) of the Housing Act 1985 (power to require information for purposes of scheme) for the words "a person" substitute "the person having control of the house or the person managing the house or any person".
 
Existing registration schemes.     70. - (1) The amendments made by sections 65 to 69 do not apply to registration schemes in force immediately before the coming into force of those sections.
 
      (2) The unamended provisions of Part XI of the Housing Act 1985 continue to apply to such schemes, subject as follows.
 
      (3) Any such scheme may be revoked-
 
 
    (a) by a new scheme complying with the provisions of that Part as amended, or
 
    (b) by order of the local housing authority.
      (4) If not so revoked any such scheme shall cease to have effect at the end of the period of two years beginning with the date on which the amendments come into force.
 
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Prepared 22 December 1996