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Page 88, line 7, leave out from ("tenant") to end of line 16 and insert (", the tenancy ceases to be an introductory tenancy--
(a) when it is vested or otherwise disposed of in the course of the administration of the tenant's estate, unless the vesting or other disposal is in pursuance of an order made under--
(i) section 24 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (property adjustment orders made in connection with matrimonial proceedings),
(ii) section 17(1) of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 (property adjustment orders after overseas divorce, &c.), or

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(iii) paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 to the Children Act 1989 (orders for financial relief against parents); or
(b) when it is known that when the tenancy is so vested or disposed of it will not be in pursuance of such an order.").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving this amendment, I shall also speak to Amendment No. 115. These amendments result from the commitment which we gave to the noble Lord, Lord Williams, during Report stage that we would consider further the point that he raised about an apparent anomaly between the drafting of Sections 89 and 90 of the Housing Act 1985.

Section 89 provides that where a secure tenant dies, the tenancy remains secure until it is disposed of in the winding up of the estate. The tenancy therefore remains secure even where it is known that there is no successor and so the local authority can only obtain possession by service of a notice to quit on the personal representative even where there is no one occupying the dwelling.

These amendments will rectify the situation for secure tenants and will also prevent the same situation arising in the case of an introductory tenant. The result will be that councils will be able to obtain possession much more quickly when it is known that there will be no successor. I am sure that that is what we all want. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 138 [Jurisdiction of county court]:

Lord Lucas moved Amendment No. 44:


Page 90, line 16, leave out first ("Part") and insert ("Chapter").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving this amendment, I shall also speak to Amendment No. 45.

Clause 138 deals with the jurisdiction of the county court in disputes that may arise about introductory tenancies. These amendments clarify that the county court has jurisdiction to determine questions relating to introductory tenancies, which form Chapter 1 of Part V only and not the whole of Part V. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Lucas moved Amendment No. 45:


Page 90, line 16, leave out second ("Part") and insert ("Chapter").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 141 [Consequential amendments: introductory tenancies]:

Lord Lucas moved Amendment No. 46:


Page 91, line 13, at end insert--
("( ) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2), an order under that subsection may make such provision in relation to an enactment as the Secretary of State considers appropriate as regards its application (with or without modifications) or non-application in relation to introductory tenants or introductory tenancies.").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving this amendment I shall also speak to Amendment No. 47 and 48.

Clause 141 was inserted at Report stage in this House to provide a power for the Secretary of State to make an order to make the numerous consequential amendments that arise in legislation elsewhere in relation to introductory tenancies. As I explained then, the

17 Jul 1996 : Column 913

Department of the Environment will need to scrutinise references to secure tenancies to see if a similar reference to introductory tenancies is necessary.

Amendments Nos. 46, 47 and 48 are designed to clarify the order-making power and to ensure that it has sufficient scope for it to be exercised as was originally intended. Some of the legislative provisions which we may wish to apply to introductory tenancies may confer additional rights and obligations upon introductory tenants. We would not wish that to be prevented because the wording of the order-making power was not sufficiently wide. These amendments make sure that that cannot happen. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Lucas moved Amendment No. 47:


Page 91, line 14, leave out subsection (3).

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Lucas moved Amendment No. 48:


After Clause 141, insert the following new clause--

Regulations and orders

(". Any regulations or order under this Part--
(a) may contain such incidental, supplementary or transitional provisions, or savings, as the Secretary of State thinks fit, and
(b) shall be made by statutory instrument which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 146 [Proceedings for possession or termination]:

Lord Lucas moved Amendment No. 49:


Page 93, line 6, at end insert ("or for the termination of the tenancy, and").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving this amendment, I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 50 to 52. This is a set of purely technical amendments. I beg to move.

Baroness Hamwee: My Lords, I should like to ask a question on Amendment No. 52. The amendment states:


    "when the notice is still in force".
Perhaps the Minister will explain that. I do not think there is any specific provision in the Bill as to when a notice is in force. I assume, although one should not necessarily do so, that a notice is in force until the matter which is the subject of the notice has finally been determined. Perhaps the Minister will confirm that.

Lord Lucas: My Lords, as the noble Baroness knows, the amendment amends Section 83A so that possession proceedings can be begun only where a notice of possession proceedings issued under Section 83 is in force. A notice will last for 12 months. In that way, an indefinite threat does not hang over the tenant. I hope that that clarifies the position to the noble Baroness.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

17 Jul 1996 : Column 914

Lord Lucas moved Amendments Nos. 50 to 52:


Page 93, line 7, leave out from ("ground") to end of line 9.
Page 93, line 14, after ("also") insert--
("(i) state that proceedings for the possession of the dwelling-house may be begun immediately, and
(ii)")
Page 93, line 41, at beginning insert ("Where a notice under section 83 has been served on a tenant containing the information mentioned in subsection (3)(a) of that section, the court shall not entertain proceedings for the possession of the dwelling-house unless they are begun at a time when the notice is still in force.
(1A)").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 149 [Additional notice requirements: domestic violence]:

Lord Lucas moved Amendment No. 53:


Page 95, line 44, after ("landlord") insert ("or, in the case of joint landlords, at least one of them").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving this amendment I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 54 to 57. Clause 149 requires a landlord who is seeking possession of a property from an assured tenant under the new ground of domestic violence to take all reasonable steps to serve a copy of the notice of possession proceedings additionally on the partners who have left the accommodation because of the violence against them.

Amendments Nos. 53 and 55 provide that where there are joint landlords, only one of the landlords needs to serve the notice. Amendment No. 54 clarifies the provision which allows the court to dispense with the requirement to serve a copy of the notice on the partner who has left to make it clear that it is only the requirement to serve a copy on that partner which can be dispensed with. Amendments Nos. 56 and 57 clarify the notice provisions which apply when the new ground for possession is added after possession proceedings have begun to make it clear that it does not need to refer to the date when possession proceedings might begin. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Lucas moved Amendments Nos. 54 to 57:


Page 96, line 2, leave out ("the requirement of such a notice") and insert ("such requirements as to service").
Page 96, line 9, after ("landlord") insert ("or, in the case of joint landlords, at least one of them").
Page 96, line 19, at end insert ("and").
Page 96, line 20, leave out from ("grounds") to end of line 22.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 158 [Allocation of housing accommodation]:

Baroness Hamwee moved Amendment No. 58:


Page 102, line 12, at end insert--
("( ) The provisions of this Part do not apply to the allocation of accommodation to a member of the household of a qualifying person following a specified event.

17 Jul 1996 : Column 915


( ) In this subsection--
"member of the household" means a person who was at the specified event and is either the spouse of the qualifying person or a person who had been residing with the qualifying person for the period of 12 months immediately before the specified event;
"specified event" means the death of a qualifying person;
"qualifying person" means a secure or introductory tenant.").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, this amendment seeks to add a provision for a further exception from Part VI. Part VI deals with the allocation of housing accommodation from the waiting lists with exceptions limited to council and housing association tenants.

The Government's guidance to local authorities includes guidance to offer tenancies to members of the household of deceased tenants where there is no succession in the formal, technical sense of the term; for example, carers or same-sex partners. Those people will fall within the group where there is no succession.

Since the council can offer accommodation only to a person who is on the waiting list or to an existing secure or introductory tenant, the amendment has been tabled in order to explore whether the council can indeed offer a tenancy to such a person following Part VI coming into effect. The amendment seeks to enable local housing authorities to comply with the Government's own guidance. I beg to move.


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