Housing Act 1996
1996 Chapter 52 - continued

 
 
Appointment of manager
Appointment of manager by the court.     85. - (1) Section 24 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 (appointment of manager by the court) is amended as follows.
 
      (2) In subsection (2) (circumstances in which order may be made), in paragraph (a) (breach of obligation by landlord), omit sub-paragraph (ii) (requirement that circumstances likely to continue).
 
      (3) In that subsection, after paragraph (a), and before the word "or" following that paragraph, insert-
 
 
    "(ab) where the court is satisfied-
 
      (i) that unreasonable service charges have been made, or are proposed or likely to be made, and
 
      (ii) that it is just and convenient to make the order in all the circumstances of the case;
 
    (ac) where the court is satisfied-
 
      (i) that the landlord has failed to comply with any relevant provision of a code of practice approved by the Secretary of State under section 87 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 (codes of management practice), and
 
      (ii) that it is just and convenient to make the order in all the circumstances of the case;".
      (4) After that subsection insert-
 
 
    "(2A) For the purposes of subsection (2)(ab) a service charge shall be taken to be unreasonable-
 
 
    (a) if the amount is unreasonable having regard to the items for which it is payable,
 
    (b) if the items for which it is payable are of an unnecessarily high standard, or
 
    (c) if the items for which it is payable are of an insufficient standard with the result that additional service charges are or may be incurred.
     
      In that provision and this subsection "service charge" means a service charge within the meaning of section 18(1) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, other than one excluded from that section by section 27 of that Act (rent of dwelling registered and not entered as variable).".
      (5) The above amendments apply to applications for an order under section 24 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 which are made after this section comes into force.
 
      In relation to any such application the reference in the inserted subsection (2)(ab) to service charges which have been made includes services charges made before that date.
 
      (6) After subsection (9) insert-
 
 
    "(9A) The court shall not vary or discharge an order under subsection (9) on a landlord's application unless it is satisfied-
 
 
    (a) that the variation or discharge of the order will not result in a recurrence of the circumstances which led to the order being made, and
 
    (b) that it is just and convenient in all the circumstances of the case to vary or discharge the order.".
Appointment of manager: transfer of jurisdiction to leasehold valuation tribunal.     86. - (1) Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 (appointment of managers by the court) is amended as follows for the purpose of transferring to a leasehold valuation tribunal the jurisdiction of the court under that Part.
 
      (2) In the following contexts for "the court", in the first (or only) place where it occurs, substitute "a leasehold valuation tribunal": section 21(1), section 22(2)(b), section 22(3), section 23(1), section 24(1), (2), (9) and (10); and in every other context in those sections, except section 21(6), for "the court" substitute "the tribunal".
 
      (3) In section 21(6) (exclusion of application under inherent jurisdiction of court) for "any jurisdiction existing apart from this Act" substitute "any jurisdiction".
 
      (4) In section 23(2)-
 
 
    (a) for "Rules of court" substitute "Procedure regulations", and
 
    (b) in paragraph (a), for "rules" substitute "regulations".
      (5) After section 24 insert-
 
 
"Jurisdiction of leasehold valuation tribunal.     24A. - (1) The jurisdiction conferred by this Part on a leasehold valuation tribunal is exercisable by a rent assessment committee constituted in accordance with Schedule 10 to the Rent Act 1977 which when so constituted for the purposes of exercising any such jurisdiction shall be known as a leasehold valuation tribunal.
 
    (2) The power to make regulations under section 74(1)(b) of the Rent Act 1977 (procedure of rent assessment committees) extends to prescribing the procedure to be followed in connection with any proceedings before a leasehold valuation tribunal under this Part.
 
      Such regulations are referred to in this Part as "procedure regulations".
 
      (3) Procedure regulations may, in particular, make provision-
 
 
    (a) for securing consistency where numerous applications under this Part are or may be brought in respect of the same or substantially the same matters; and
 
    (b) empowering a leasehold valuation tribunal to dismiss an application, in whole or in part, on the ground that it is frivolous or vexatious or otherwise an abuse of the process of the tribunal.
      (4) Any order made by a leasehold valuation tribunal under this Part may, with the leave of the court, be enforced in the same way as an order of the county court.
 
      (5) No costs incurred by a party in connection with proceedings under this Part before a leasehold valuation tribunal shall be recoverable by order of any court.
 
      (6) Paragraphs 2, 3 and 7 of Schedule 22 to the Housing Act 1980 (supplementary provisions relating to leasehold valuation tribunals: appeals and provision of information) apply to a leasehold valuation tribunal constituted for the purposes of this section.
 
      (7) No appeal shall lie to the Lands Tribunal from a decision of a leasehold valuation tribunal under this Part without the leave of the leasehold valuation tribunal concerned or the Lands Tribunal.
 
      (8) On an appeal to the Lands Tribunal from a decision of a leasehold valuation tribunal under this Part-
 
 
    (a) the Lands Tribunal may exercise any power available to the leasehold valuation tribunal in relation to the original matter, and
 
    (b) an order of the Lands Tribunal may be enforced in the same way as an order of the leasehold valuation tribunal.
Leasehold valuation tribunal: applications and fees.     24B. - (1) The Secretary of State may make provision by order as to the form of, or the particulars to be contained in, an application made to a leasehold valuation tribunal under this Part.
 
      (2) The Secretary of State may make provision by order-
 
 
    (a) requiring the payment of fees in respect of any such application, or in respect of any proceedings before, a leasehold valuation tribunal under this Part; and
 
    (b) empowering a leasehold valuation tribunal to require a party to proceedings before it to reimburse any other party the whole or part of any fees paid by him.
      (3) The fees payable shall be such as may be specified in or determined in accordance with the order subject to this limit, that the fees payable in respect of any one application or reference by the court together with any proceedings before the tribunal arising out of that application or reference shall not exceed £500 or such other amount as may be specified by order of the Secretary of State.
 
      (4) An order under this section may make different provision for different cases or classes of case or for different areas.
 
      (5) An order may, in particular, provide for the reduction or waiver of fees by reference to the financial resources of the party by whom they are to be paid or met.
 
      Any such order may apply, subject to such modifications as may be specified in the order, any other statutory means-testing regime as it has effect from time to time.
 
      (6) An order under this section shall be made by statutory instrument.
 
      (7) No order altering the limit under subsection (3) shall be made unless a draft of the order has been laid before and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.
 
      (8) Any other order under this section, unless it contains only such provision as is mentioned in subsection (1), shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.".
 
      (6) In section 52 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 (jurisdiction of county courts), in subsection (2)(a) for "Parts I to IV" substitute "Parts I, III and IV".
 
Text of Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987, as amended.     87. The text of Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 as amended by this Act is set out in Schedule 5.
 
Period after which acquisition order may be made.     88. In Part III of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 (compulsory acquisition by tenants of their landlord's interest), in section 29(3) (conditions for making acquisition orders: period since appointment of manager under Part II) for "three years" substitute "two years".
 
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Prepared 22 December 1996