Property News

Housing and Planning Bill Gains Royal Assent

Em Morley - May 13, 2016
Housing and Planning Bill Gains Royal Assent

Housing and Planning Bill Gains Royal Assent

The controversial Housing and Planning Bill has now gained royal assent and has officially become the Housing and Planning Act.

The bill was first introduced in October last year. During the last eight months, it has gone through around 40 parliamentary sessions, heaps of Government defeats in the House of Lords, and 16m pieces of data have been analysed. However, yesterday afternoon, it finally received royal assent to become law.

The act has been criticised for putting an end to social housing. Some of its policies include: the introduction of Starter Homes on new developments for first time buyers at a 20% discount; the extension of the Right to Buy scheme to housing association tenants; and the release of a blacklist of rogue landlords and letting agents, with powers to ban repeat offenders from the private rental sector.

Letting agents must also keep client money in accounts separate to business accounts under Client Money Protection rules.

The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) discussed the new legislation at the annual housing and health conference, ahead of royal assent.

The Shadow Housing Minister, John Healey, said the bill is limited and unbalanced, and only focuses on homeownership.

The conference was also attended by Matt Allwright, the presenter of Rogue Traders, who Healey said had done more than many MPs to highlight poor conditions and bad landlords in the private rental sector.

But don’t think this is the end for the bill – the flow of legislation is due to continue, and it is believed that a new housing bill will make it into the Queen’s Speech next week.

Although the bill will probably focus on garden cities, it will likely include small print that may be of interest to landlords and letting agents.

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