Housing (Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 2020

Publication Date:January 01, 2020
 
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Housing (Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 2020

2020 CHAPTER 5

An Act to amend the law relating to housing associations; and for connected purposes.

[28 August 2020]

BE IT ENACTED by being passed by the Northern Ireland Assembly and assented to by Her Majesty as follows:

S-1 Disposal of land etc

1 Disposal of land etc

(1) For Article 13 of the 1992 Order (disposal of land) substitute—

S-13

13

13. Disposal of land: registered housing associations

(1)1 Any provision contained in the rules of a registered housing association which prevents it from disposing of any land (where such disposal would otherwise be lawful) shall be of no effect.

(2)2 A registered housing association that disposes of or mortgages any land must notify the Department of the disposal or mortgage in accordance with this Article.

(3)3 But paragraph (2) does not apply to a letting of land to one or more individuals by a registered housing association under a secure tenancy or under what would be a secure tenancy but for paragraphs 1(b) to 10 of Schedule 2 to the Order of 1983.

(4)4 Notification under paragraph (2) must be made—

(a)

within 28 days of the disposal taking place or (as the case may be) the mortgage being created, and

(b)

in such manner and form as the Department may prescribe.

(5)5 The Department may by regulations dispense with such notifications as may be described in the regulations.

(6)6 Notifications that are dispensed with under paragraph (5) may be described in the regulations by reference to (in particular)—

(a)

the association, or description of association, which is disposing of the land or creating the mortgage;

(b)

the land, or description of land, which is disposed of or which becomes subject to the mortgage;

(c)

the description of disposal.

(7)7 A dispensation under paragraph (5) may be subject to such conditions as are prescribed.

S-13A

13A

(1)1 Notwithstanding anything contained in section 30 of the Act of 1969, an unregistered housing association may not dispose of any grant-aided land as defined in Schedule 2 without the consent of the Department.

(2)2 Consent under paragraph (1) may be subject to such conditions as the Department sees fit to impose.

(3)3 Any such consent may be given—

(a)

either generally in relation to all unregistered housing associations or to a particular unregistered housing association or description of unregistered housing association, or

(b)

in relation to particular land or in relation to a particular description of land.

(4)4 Paragraph (1) does not prevent an unregistered housing association from disposing of any land by the granting of a lease for a term ending within the period of 7 years and 3 months beginning on the date of the grant unless—

(a)

there is conferred on the lessee (whether by the lease or otherwise) an option for renewal for a term which, together with the original term, would expire outside that period, or

(b)

the lease is granted wholly or partly in consideration of a fine.

(5)5 Without prejudice to the generality of the expression “dispose” in paragraph (1), in paragraph (4) the expression “lease” includes an agreement for a lease and a licence to occupy and the expressions “grant” and “term” are to be construed accordingly.”.

(2) In Schedule 2 to the 1992 Order (grant-aided land)—

(a)

for the shoulder reference substitute “Article 13A(1)”;

(b)

in paragraph 1, for “Article 13” substitute “Article 13A”.

(3) In consequence of the amendment made by subsection (1)—

(a)

paragraph 41(a) of Schedule 11 to the Land Registration Act (Northern Ireland) 1970 is repealed;

(b)

any entry in the Statutory Charges Register that was made in pursuance of Article 13(7) of the 1992 Order ceases to have effect.

(4) The following provisions are repealed—

(a)

Article 141 of the Housing (Northern Ireland) Order 2003;

(b)

section 13 of the Housing (Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 2010.

S-2 Inquiries into affairs of registered housing associations

2 Inquiries into affairs of registered housing associations

(1) Article 23 of the 1992 Order (inquiries into registered housing associations) is amended as follows.

(2) For paragraph (1) substitute—

“1 This Article applies where the Department has reasonable grounds to suspect that a registered housing association has failed, or is failing, to comply with—

(a) a duty imposed by this Order or by any other statutory provision,

(b) a requirement imposed on the association by the Department under this Order or any other statutory provision, or

(c) any guidance issued by the Department under this Order,

relating to its housing activities or its financial or other affairs.

1A The Department may appoint a person to conduct an inquiry into the affairs of the registered housing association.

1B If the appointed person considers it necessary for the purposes of an inquiry under paragraph (1A), the person may also inquire into the business of any other body which, at a time which the person considers material, is or was a subsidiary or associate of the association concerned.”.

(3) In paragraph (2), for “paragraph (1)” substitute “paragraph (1A)”.

(4) In paragraph (3), for “paragraph (1)” substitute “paragraph (1B)”.

S-3 Power to act for protection of registered housing association

3 Power to act for protection of registered housing association

(1) Article 25 of the 1992 Order (power to act for protection of registered housing association) is amended as follows.

(2) For the words preceding sub-paragraph (a) of paragraph (1) substitute—

“1 The powers conferred on the Department by paragraphs (1B), (3),(3A), (4), (5) and (7) in respect of a registered housing association are exercisable only where (in addition to the particular conditions for those paragraphs being met) the Department considers that—

(a) action is needed to protect the interests of tenants of the association or to protect the assets of the association, and

(b) the committee of the association is unwilling to take appropriate action for that purpose.

1A Paragraph (1B) applies where the Department is satisfied as the result of an inquiry under Article 23 or an audit under Article 24 that a registered housing association has failed, or is failing, to comply with—

(a) a duty imposed by this Order or by any other statutory provision, or

(b) a requirement imposed on the association by the Department under this Order or any other statutory provision,

relating to its housing activities or its financial or other affairs.

1B Where this paragraph applies, the Department may do all or any of the following, namely—”.

(3) In sub-paragraph (a) of what becomes paragraph (1B), for “the misconduct or mismanagement” substitute “the failure mentioned in paragraph (1A)”.

(4) In paragraph (3)—

(a)

for “there has been misconduct or mismanagement as mentioned in paragraph (1)” substitute “there is or has been a failure as mentioned in paragraph (1A)”;

(b)

for “that paragraph” substitute “paragraph (1B)”;

(c)

for “paragraph (1)(b)” substitute “paragraph (1B)(b)”.

(5) In paragraph (3A)—

(a)

for “there has been misconduct or mismanagement as mentioned in paragraph (1)” substitute “there is or has been a failure as mentioned in paragraph (1A)”;

(b)

for “of paragraph (1)” substitute “of paragraph (1B)”.

(6) In paragraph (4)(c), for “impedes the committee’s proper management of the association’s affairs” substitute “compromises the committee’s ability to ensure that the association complies with the...

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