The Government first announced plans for a shared ownership right to buy in October 2019. At the time the sector raised concerns about the impact the plans would have on housing associations ability to borrow. An election and a pandemic later the Government announced, during the CIH Housing Festival last week, the return of the right to shared ownership as part of its Affordable Homes Programme (AHP).
The Legal Background
The changes are introduced through The Transfer of Tribunal Functions Order 2013. The Property Chamber is comprised of a First-Tier Tribunal and an Upper Tribunal.
The Tribunals that currently decide disputes will be abolished and the power to hear disputes transferred to the new Chamber. In particular:
- Rent assessment committees are abolished and the jurisdiction transfers to the First-Tier Tribunal (or in some cases the Upper Tribunal);
- The jurisdiction of leasehold valuation tribunal (LVT) passes to the First-Tier Tribunal; and
- The Land Registry Adjudicator in abolished and the jurisdiction transfers to the First-Tier Tribunal.
There will also be a wider right of appeal.
Please note the changes are in England only: they do not affect Wales.
The Practical Implications
These changes will affect cases you or your customers may issue in relation to the following claims:
- Registered rents;
- Section 13 rent increases;
- Service charges – including decisions on reasonableness, liability to pay, and dispensation;
- Lease extensions;
- Appointment of managers;
- HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) issues; and
- Land registration issues.
Standard documents including section 13 notices (the prescribed Form 4B), rent books, and the service charges and administration charges prescribed statement of rights and obligations have to be updated in accordance with the legislation. In addition the information you send to residents about rights to issue various claims in Tribunals should be updated to reflect the new regime.
The Tribunal rules have also changed so if issuing claims in the new Chamber for the first time, do check the new rules. Existing cases will automatically transfer to the new Chamber.
For more information
For more infomation about these changes and/or copies of the updated standard documents, contact Emma Duke on 0121 214 3617 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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