Draft Housing Bill

"Legislation in draft will be published to improve both housing standards and standards of management of private rented accommodation by landlords."

 * The ODPM: Housing, Planning, Local Government and the Regions Select Committee issued a press notice on 7 April announcing that it  will be carrying out pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft Bill. The Committee is seeking submissions of written evidence by 15 May 2003. The Committee is happy to accept advance copies of intended submissions to the ODPM's consultation exercise, or copies of submissions formally made to the Committee. *

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The green paper, "The way forward for housing", published in 2000, contained certain proposals that would require primary legislation to implement, in particular, new fitness standards for housing.

In his Commons statement outlining planning and housing policy in July 2002, John Prescott, the deputy prime minister, promised to legislate to "tackle the minority of unscrupulous landlords and boost our drive against poor conditions".

The draft Housing Bill announced in the Queen's speech determines to do just that by giving local authorities the powers for selective licensing of private landlords in areas of low housing demand, thereby addressing the problems of unscrupulous land lords and anti social tenants undermining regeneration efforts.

The bill will also seek to modernise the controls of houses in multiple occupation, introducing a mandatory national licensing scheme.

The Housing Bill will also include legislative provision previously associated with a 'Homes Bill'; which will improve the way property is bought and sold in England and Wales by introducing a seller's pack to the process.

The original bill failed to be passed in the 2000-01 session, running out of time before the dissolution of Parliament.

Key points:

- Introduce seller's packs to the home-buying and selling process, so that the information needed by a potential purchaser is available when the property is marketed;

- Rationalise and modernise the controls on Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), bringing in a mandatory national licensing scheme;

- Reform the housing fitness regime, by replacing the existing fitness standard with an evidence-based rating system; and

- Give local authorities powers for selective licensing of private landlords in areas of low housing demand, to deal with the problem of unscrupulous landlords and anti-social tenants undermining regeneration efforts.

Text of the Draft Housing Bill

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister published the following consultation documents and associated information on the Draft Housing Bill on 31 March 2003

Housing Bill - Consultation on draft legislation (Consultation paper)

Explanatory factsheets on the key elements of the Draft Housing Bill including the following:

Factsheet 1: Summary of the Bill ( Rich Text Format 33kb )

Factsheet 2: The Health and Safety Rating System ( Rich Text Format 37kb )

Factsheet 3: Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs): Licensing scope and schemes ( Rich Text Format 39kb )

Factsheet 4: Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs): Licensing Requirements ( Rich Text Format 39kb )

Factsheet 5: Selective Licensing of other Residential Accommodation ( Rich Text Format 42kb )

Factsheet 6: Management Orders under Part 4 ( Rich Text Format 47kb )

Factsheet 7: The home information pack ( Rich Text Format 39kb )

Factsheet 8: Right to Buy ( Rich Text Format 32kb )

Increasing the effectiveness of powers to regulate Registered Social Landlords (Consultation paper)

Reforming the home buying and selling process in England and Wales: Contents of the home information pack (Consultation paper)

Reforming the home buying and selling process in England and Wales the home information pack in low demand low value areas (Consultation paper)

Housing Research Summary No 179: Home information packs in Low Demand Low Value Housing Markets: Consumers and Property Professionals Perspectives

The Potential Impact of the Home Information Pack in Low Demand Low Value Housing Markets

Buyers and Sellers Perspectives of Home Information Packs in Low Demand Low Value Housing Markets - A Report to The Office of The Deputy Prime Minister

Details of the Committee's Future Meetings

The Committee has announced a programme of meetings to scrutinise the Draft Housing Bill in a press notice dated 11 June.

Transcripts of oral evidence taken before the Committee

Monday 16 June - Uncorrected transcript of oral evidence

Tuesday 17 June - Uncorrected transcript of oral evidence

Monday 23 June - Uncorrected transcript of oral evidence

Tuesday 24 June - Uncorrected transcript of oral evidence

Tuesday 8 July - Uncorrected transcript of oral evidence

Tuesday 15 July - Uncorrected transcript of oral evidence

The Committee's Report

The Committee published its Report into 'The Draft Housing Bill' on 22 July 2003.

' The Draft Housing Bill - Report' HC 751-I ISBN 0 21 501212 7 £13.00

A volume of written evidence submitted to the Committee was published on 12 June 2003.

' The Draft Housing Bill -  Written Evidence' HC 751-II ISBN 0 21 501112 0 £14.50

The Government published its response to the Committee's Report on 10 November 2003 Cm 6000 £6.50

Associated links and documents which may be of use

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister - Housing and Housing Policy

The Government's Housing Policy Statement - 'The Way Forward for Housing', ODPM December 2000

The Housing Green Paper - 'Quality and Choice: A Decent Home for All', ODPM 4 April 2000

Statement by Rt Hon John Prescott, Deputy Prime Minister on the Government's policies on Sustainable Communities, Housing and Planning, 18 July 2002

Contacting the Committee

Members of the public and organisations who are interested in making a submission of evidence to the Committee on the content of the Draft Housing Bill can do so in the following ways:

By post:

ODPM: Housing, Planning, Local Government and the Regions Committee, Committee Office, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA

By email:

[email protected]