Section 172 - Requirement of consent
502.Subsection (1) states that any disposal of a dwelling by a registered provider requires the regulator’s consent, but only if that dwelling is social housing.
503.Subsection (2) prohibits the regulator from consenting to a disposal by a non-profit registered provider which it believes is being made with a view to enabling the provider to distribute assets to members.
504.Subsection (3) states that the regulator’s consent is not needed to a disposal of social housing by a registered provider if the disposal falls within an exception listed in section 173. This broadly replicates the effect of section 9(1) of the 1996 Act.
Section 173 - Exceptions
505.This section lists exceptions to the requirement for consent in section 172.
506.Subsection (2) states that consent is not required for disposal by way of:
an assured tenancy,
an assured agricultural occupancy,
an agreement that would be an assured tenancy of an assured agricultural occupancy but for any of paragraphs 4 to 8, paragraphs 12(1)(h) and 12ZA to 12B of Schedule 1 to the Housing Act 1988 (exclusions),
a secure tenancy, or
an arrangement that would be a secure tenancy but for any of paragraphs 2 to 12 of Schedule 1 to the Housing Act 1985 (exclusions).
507.This makes clear that consent is not required for residential tenancies. It broadly replicates the effect of section 10(1) of the 1996 Act. It also ensures that the profit-making registered providers (as well as non-profit registered providers) are exempt from the requirement to obtain consent from the regulator before granting a residential tenancy of a type listed in section 173(2).
508.Subsection (3) states that consent is not required for a disposal to which section 81 or 133 of the Housing Act 1988 or section 173 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1985 applies, as consent is already required under those provisions. This broadly replicates the effect of section 10(2) of the 1996 Act.
509.Subsection (4) states that consent is not required for a disposal under Part V of the Housing Act 1985 (right to buy).
510.Subsection (5) states that consent is not required for a disposal in pursuance of a tenant’s right to acquire under section 16 of the 1996 Act, or section 180.
511.Subsections (4) and (5) together broadly replicate the effect of section 10(3) of the 1996 Act.
Section 174 - Procedure
512.This section sets out the procedure for the regulator giving consent to disposals.
513.Subsection (1) states that consent may be either general or specific. Together with subsection (4)(which states that consent may be conditional), this broadly replicates the effect of section 9(2) of the 1996 Act. This allows the regulator to give consent either for a broad class of disposals, or for individual properties, or properties belonging to an individual landlord.
514.Subsection (2) states that consent may be retrospective.
515.Subsection (3) states that consent may be expressed by reference to a policy for disposal submitted by a registered provider.
516.Subsection (5) requires the regulator, before giving a consent, to consult:
one or more bodies appearing to it to represent the interests of registered providers, and
one or more bodies appearing to it to represent the interests of tenants.
517.Subsection (6) states that subsection (5) does not apply to specific consent relating only to one or more particular registered providers or properties. The regulator would therefore have to consult the bodies listed before giving a general consent which covered a wide range of properties, or properties owned by a large number of bodies, but not when giving a specific consent.
Section 175 - Disposal without consent
518.This section states that a disposal by a registered provider is void if it required the regulator’s consent and the regulator had not given consent.
519.There is one exception: where a non-profit registered provider disposes of a single dwelling to one or more individuals, and the registered provider reasonably believes at the time of the disposal that the buyer intends to use the property as their principal residence. This broadly replicates the effect of section 9(4) of the 1996 Act and aims to protect individual purchasers if they unwittingly purchased a home from a registered provider who did not have consent to dispose of the property..
Section 176 – Notification where disposal consent not required
520.This section requires a non-profit registered provider which disposes of land other than social housing to notify the regulator of the disposal. There is power for the regulator to give a direction dispensing with this requirement. This direction is subject to the provisions in section 174(1) and (3) to (6).