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10 things you should know about the housing bill

Tom Wall16/03/2016 - 13:02

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The controversial housing and planning bill is making its way though the Lords and is likely to become law by the summer. EHN digital editor, Tom Wall, lists 10 things you should know about the bill, which is set to transform social renting and push more people into the private rented sector.

1. Housing Minister Brandon Lewis believes the bill will give 'hard-working families opportunities to unlock the door to home ownership'. 


2. Councils will be forced to provide discounted starter homes, with funding diverted from existing affordable housing funding. But starter homes are not currently affordable to most families on low-and-middle incomes.  

3.The end of secure tenancies. New council tenants will be reviewed every two to five years. 


4. Pay to stay. Existing tenants earning collectively above £30,000 outside London and £40,000 in London will be forced to move out or gradually be charged rents at market or near market rates.


5. The right-to-buy will be extended to housing association tenants, funded by making councils sell ‘high value’ council properties. Shelter calculates 19,000 council homes could be sold by 2020, with 113,000 at risk in total. 


6. The worse landlords will be banned. Councils will be able to apply to the first-tier tribunal to ban landlords who have committed serious housing offences from letting housing, letting agency work or property management. 

Broken window 

7. A national database of rogue landlords and letting agents will be set up. Councils will be able to add landlords who commit ‘banning order offences’, which will be determined at a later date by the government. 

Rented homes HP

8. For the first time EHOs will have the power to impose fixed penalty notices for housing offences, with fine revenue retained by councils and ring-fenced for housing purposes.

EHOs and police raid on illegal 'beds in sheds' 

9. Automatic brownfield land planning permission in principle. The bill will introduce a statutory register of brownfield land to support the building of new homes on 90 per cent of suitable brownfield sites by 2020. 

10. Councils will have to keep a register of aspiring self-builders and take them into account when drawing up future house building plans. 

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