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Police Reform Act 2002

Section 100: Metropolitan Police Authority Housing

497.Paragraph 51 of Schedule 27 to the Greater London Authority Act 1999 (GLA Act) amended the Housing Act 1985 (the 1985 Act) by adding the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) to the definition of local authorities in section 4 of that Act. This meant that the MPA fulfilled the ‘landlord conditions’ for the purpose of creating secure tenancies under the 1985 Act, leading to a number of police officers occupying properties owned by the MPA being able to exercise a right to buy their properties at a discount once the two year qualifying period elapsed – which happened on 3 July 2002.

498.The creation of the secure tenancies was unintended. The amendment removes the MPA from the secure tenancy regime, and makes various other provisions regarding affected tenants, not least because the amendment became law after the qualifying date for secure tenants to be able to exercise the right to buy at a discount had been reached.

499.In addition to the measures specified on the face of the Act, in March/April 2001 the Metropolitan Police Service came to an agreement with the Police Federation to extend the period officers could occupy MPA housing, if they had been secure tenants and they did not exercise their right to buy prior to the amendment being brought into effect, by 2 years (up to a maximum occupancy of 7 years).

500.Future tenancies granted by the MPA will be assured shorthold tenancies.

501.The effect of subsection (1) is to remove the Metropolitan Police Authority from the definition of local authorities contained in section 4 of the Housing Act 1985. This will result in the Metropolitan Police Authority no longer fulfilling the ‘landlord conditions’ for the purpose of creating secure tenancies under the 1985 Act. Secure tenancies already granted will cease to be secure and in particular tenants will no longer be able to exercise a right to buy.

502.Subsection (2) removes the Metropolitan Police Authority from the definition of local authority in Schedule 1 to the Housing Act 1988. This enables the Metropolitan Police Authority to grant assured shorthold tenancies consistent with its practice before amendment of the Housing Act 1985.

503.The effect of subsection (3)(a) is to allow any secure tenant who acquired the right to buy before the day on which the Act was passed and either served a notice claiming to exercise that right before the Act was passed, or served such a notice within 3 months of the Act being passed, to complete the purchase process within the framework of the Housing Act 1985.

504.Subsection (3)(b) will enable former secure tenants to count the period spent as a secure tenant towards the qualifying period for acquiring the right to buy (and the calculation for discount) if they move to another secure tenancy (though not one with the Metropolitan Police Authority).

505.Subsection (4) ensures that those tenancies not purchased within the provisions of subsection (3)(a) become assured shorthold tenancies.

506.This section – and the consequential repeals as a result of this section, listed in Schedule 8 – came into effect on Royal Assent (see section 108(3)).

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