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'( ) The reference in paragraph (f) of subsection (1) to precautions required under or by virtue of an enactment does not include precautions required to comply with a notice under section 352 of the Housing Act 1985 (notice requiring execution of works to render house in multiple occupation fit for number of occupants) so far as it relates to premises which are not part of a house in multiple occupation for the purposes of this Part.'.

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8

Clause 14, page 9, line 8, at end insert--


'References in this Chapter to other expressions relating to tenancies, in the context of an application for a common parts grant, shall be construed accordingly.'.
9

Clause 19, page 12, line 7, leave out 'related expressions' and insert 'other expressions relating to tenancies, in the context of an application for disabled facilities grant,'.

Earl Ferrers: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 6 to 9.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 6 to 9--(Earl Ferrers.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

COMMONS AMENDMENT

10

Clause 24, page 14, leave out lines 20 to 22 and insert--


'and the authority shall take that into account in deciding whether it is reasonable and practicable to carry out the relevant works.'.

Earl Ferrers: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 10. It may be convenient if I speak also to Amendments Nos. 59 and 60.

Amendment No. 10 responds to concerns which were expressed in Committee in another place and were also raised by the noble Lord, Lord Williams, during earlier stages in this House. The amendment removes subsection (5) of Clause 24. Subsection (5) provides discretion for an authority on whether or not to approve an application for disabled facilities grant where the building does not meet the requirements of the fitness standard. It is replaced by an obligation on the authority to take into account the matters in subsection (4) in deciding whether it is reasonable and practicable to carry out the relevant works.

As a result of the amendment, disabled facilities grant will remain mandatory whether or not the property is unfit. At the same time the amendment reflects the intention behind the original provision; namely, that local authorities, when considering carrying out the proposed works, should have the discretion to refuse an application where the condition of the property is such that it would be unreasonable and impracticable to carry out the proposed works. The kind of case where that might apply, depending of course on the circumstances, might be where a person was considering installing heavy stairlift equipment when, in fact, the walls were crumbling.

Clause 96 requires local authorities to have regard to guidance which is given under Section 604A of the Housing Act 1985 in deciding whether they are satisfied that carrying out the relevant works with grant aid is the most satisfactory course of action where a property is unfit.

Amendments Nos. 59 and 60 add a requirement for authorities to have regard also to any guidance provided by the Secretary of State under Clause 84 in relation to the use and review of deferred action notices.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 10--(Earl Ferrers.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

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COMMONS AMENDMENT

11

Clause 31, page 18, line 14, leave out from first 'be' to 'make' in line 27 and insert 'determined by the local housing authority, having regard to--


(a) the extent to which the landlord is able to charge a higher rent for the premises because of the works, and
(b) such other matters as the Secretary of State may direct.
( ) The authority may, if they think it appropriate, seek and act upon the advice of rent officers as to any matter.
( ) The Secretary of State may by regulations'.

Earl Ferrers: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 11.

This amendment provides for authorities, in determining grant applications from landlords, to have regard to the extent to which the landlord is able to generate higher rental income on the improved property and, if they think it appropriate, they can seek and act upon the advice of rent officers on any matters concerning rents.

As Clause 31 provides authorities with discretion to determine the amount of grant which may be given in the case of landlord applications, we consider it important that decisions which are taken by local authorities are based on sound information. It is appropriate therefore that express provision is made to ensure that, in every case, authorities have regard to the scope for charging a higher rent on a property improved with grant. That will have a bearing on the landlord's ability to fund the works and therefore on the amount of grant the authority may award.

The amendment also simplifies Clause 31(4) allowing authorities discretion to obtain and take into account advice from rent officers on any relevant matters.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 11--(Earl Ferrers.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

COMMONS AMENDMENT

12

Clause 34, page 20, line 20, at end insert--


'( ) the amount of the costs which have been or are to be incurred as mentioned in subsection (2)(c) has increased,'.

Earl Ferrers: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 12. In moving this Motion, I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 13, 28 and 57.

Amendment No. 12 is essentially a technical amendment and completes what would otherwise be an incomplete provision. Clause 34(5) enables authorities to redetermine the estimated expense and amount of grant where they are satisfied that, owing to circumstances beyond the applicant's control, there is a need for additional unforeseen works or if the original estimate cannot be adhered to.

Amendment No. 12 ensures that authorities may also redetermine the estimated expense and amount of grant where the amount of the costs with respect to

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preliminary or ancillary services or charges has increased owing to circumstances beyond the applicant's control.

Amendments Nos. 13, 28 and 57 correct cross-references in Clauses 35, 54, and 93 of the Bill. Amendment No. 57 is consequential to an earlier amendment made in this House.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 12--(Earl Ferrers.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

COMMONS AMENDMENT

13

Clause 36, page 21, line 2, leave out 'by virtue of section 23(1)' and insert 'under section 24(1)(a)'.

Earl Ferrers: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 13.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 13--(Earl Ferrers.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

COMMONS AMENDMENT

14

Clause 39, page 22, line 1, after second 'grant' insert '--


(a) by payment direct to the contractor, or
(b)".

Earl Ferrers: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 14. In moving this Motion, I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 15 and 16.

These amendments respond to concerns expressed in Committee in another place and allow the local authority either to make payments direct to the contractor or to give the applicant a cheque made payable to the contractor. The local authority will be required to inform the applicant that payment will or may be made in this manner.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 14--(Earl Ferrers.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

COMMONS AMENDMENTS

15

Clause 39, page 22, line 5, after 'would' insert 'or might'.


16

Page 22, leave out lines 6 to 9.


17

Page 22, line 10, leave out from 'Where' to end of line.


18

Clause 49, page 29, line 24, leave out from 'fulfilled' to end of line 28.


19

Page 29, line 32, leave out from 'dwelling' to end of line 35.


20

Page 29, line 42, at end insert--


'( ) The terms of any tenancy of the dwelling (or any part of it, or any property including the dwelling or part of it) shall be deemed to include a duty on the part of the tenant, if required to do so by the owner of the dwelling, to furnish him with such information as he may reasonably require to enable him to comply with a notice under subsection (2).'.
21

Clause 50, page 30, line 13, leave out from 'fulfilled' to end of line 17.


22

Page 30, line 21, leave out from 'house' to end of line 24.

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