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General Committees

Debated on Monday 4 March 2024

Delegated Legislation Committee

Draft Social Housing (Regulation) Act 2023 (Consequential and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2024

The Committee consisted of the following Members:

Chair: Judith Cummins

† Brereton, Jack (Stoke-on-Trent South) (Con)

Burgon, Richard (Leeds East) (Lab)

Champion, Sarah (Rotherham) (Lab)

† Cruddas, Jon (Dagenham and Rainham) (Lab)

† Daly, James (Bury North) (Con)

† Everitt, Ben (Milton Keynes North) (Con)

† Glindon, Mary (North Tyneside) (Lab)

† Hamilton, Mrs Paulette (Birmingham, Erdington) (Lab)

† Hopkins, Rachel (Luton South) (Lab)

† Hunt, Tom (Ipswich) (Con)

† Mohindra, Mr Gagan (South West Hertfordshire) (Con)

† O’Brien, Neil (Harborough) (Con)

† Pennycook, Matthew (Greenwich and Woolwich) (Lab)

† Saxby, Selaine (North Devon) (Con)

† Tuckwell, Steve (Uxbridge and South Ruislip) (Con)

† Watling, Giles (Clacton) (Con)

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

Stella-Maria Gabriel, Committee Clerk

† attended the Committee

First Delegated Legislation Committee

Monday 4 March 2024

[Judith Cummins in the Chair]

Draft Social Housing (Regulation) Act 2023 (Consequential and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2024

I beg to move,

That the Committee has considered the draft Social Housing (Regulation) Act 2023 (Consequential and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2024.

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mrs Cummins. The draft regulations make technical, consequential and miscellaneous amendments to primary and secondary legislation following the passage of the Social Housing (Regulation) Act 2023.

All social housing tenants deserve to live in decent homes, to be treated with fairness and respect, and to have their complaints addressed quickly. Those principles were at the heart of the Social Housing (Regulation) Act, which received Royal Assent last July. The Act facilitates the biggest change to the regulation of social housing in a decade, paving the way for the introduction of a new, proactive consumer regulation regime. The Act will deliver transformative change across the social housing sector, ensuring that poor landlords are held to account for the quality of their homes and the services they provide.

Following the passage of the Act, significant progress has been made in the implementation of those changes. In the last week, the Regulator of Social Housing has published the revised consumer standards, setting stronger requirements that landlords will need to meet from April this year. We have also launched consultations on the competence and conduct of social housing staff, and on Awaab’s law, which will set strict new time limits for social housing providers to address dangerous hazards such as damp and mould in social homes. We will not stop until social tenants receive the quality homes and services they deserve.

Let me speak very briefly to the draft regulations, which are mostly technical and make consequential amendments to ensure that existing legislation remains accurate following the passage of the 2023 Act. Part 1 of schedule 1 makes consequential amendments to the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008, including to reflect the change to when a housing moratorium starts, and to add new entries to the index of defined terms in the 2008 Act to signpost definitions added or amended by the 2023 Act.

Part 2 of schedule 1 makes consequential amendments to other pieces of relevant legislation. These changes are a consequence of changes made by the 2023 Act relating to moratoriums in the event of insolvency, the definition of whether a registered provider is non-profit, and what constitutes an “English body” for the purpose of who can be registered.

Part 3 of schedule 1 makes a consequential amendment to the Social Housing Rents (Exceptions and Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2016 relating to the definition of “community land trust” inserted into the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act 2022 by the 2023 Act.

Lastly, the regulations make miscellaneous amendments to correct minor errors in statute, removing a redundant reference to a section in the 2008 Act that was later repealed by the Housing and Planning Act 2016, and amending a provision inserted by a statutory instrument to ensure consistency across the two pieces of legislation.

The regulations will ensure accuracy and consistent language across existing legislation following the changes made to statute by the 2023 Act. I commend them to the Committee.

It is a pleasure to serve with you in the Chair, Mrs Cummins. I rise simply to put it on the record that, in the Opposition’s view, this is a straightforward and entirely uncontentious statutory instrument, and as such, not only do we have no intention of opposing it this evening, but, somewhat uncharacteristically, I have no specific concerns to put to the Minister.

I thank the hon. Gentleman and the Committee for their time today. The regulations are just a small part of the implementation of the Social Housing (Regulation) Act, which will transform the regulation of the sector. I hope the Committee will agree to their passage, to ensure the continued accuracy of the statute book.

Question put and agreed to.

Committee rose.