Search Legislation

Housing and Regeneration Act 2008

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Chapter 2The Social Housing Regulator

Constitution

81Establishment

(1)There shall be a body corporate to be known as the Office for Tenants and Social Landlords.

(2)The Office—

(a)may be referred to in an enactment or other instrument as “the Regulator of Social Housing”, and

(b)is referred to in this Part as “the regulator”.

(3)The Office (and any member of the Office)—

(a)is not the servant or agent of the Crown, and

(b)does not share any immunity or privilege of the Crown.

82Membership

(1)The regulator shall consist of—

(a)a person appointed by the Secretary of State as chair,

(b)neither less than 3 nor more than 10 other members appointed by the Secretary of State, and

(c)the chief executive appointed under section 84.

(2)The Secretary of State must consult the chair before appointing other members.

(3)The Secretary of State may appoint a person under subsection (1) only if satisfied that the person has no financial or other personal interest in the performance of functions.

(4)Former membership of the Housing Corporation is not a bar to appointment.

(5)In this Part “appointed member” means—

(a)the chair, or

(b)a member appointed under subsection (1)(b).

(6)A vacancy for, or a defect in the appointment of, the chair, the chief executive or another member does not prevent or invalidate proceedings.

83Tenure

(1)An appointed member holds and vacates office in accordance with the terms of appointment (subject to this section).

(2)A period of appointment may not exceed 5 years (but a member may be reappointed).

(3)An appointed member may resign by notice to the Secretary of State.

(4)The Secretary of State may dismiss an appointed member if satisfied that any of the following cases applies—

(a)Case 1 is where a member has been absent from meetings of the regulator for a period of more than 6 months without its permission.

(b)Case 2 is where a member is subject to—

(i)a bankruptcy restrictions order, or

(ii)an interim bankruptcy restrictions order.

(c)Case 3 is where—

(i)a member’s estate has been sequestrated by a court in Scotland, or

(ii)under the law of Scotland, a member has made a composition or arrangement with, or granted a trust deed for, creditors.

(d)Case 4 is where a member has a financial or other personal interest which is likely to influence the performance of functions.

(e)Case 5 is where a member has misbehaved or is for any other reason unable, unsuitable or unwilling to perform functions.

84Chief executive

(1)The regulator shall appoint a chief executive.

(2)The regulator may appoint a person only if approved by the Secretary of State.

(3)The first chief executive shall be appointed by the Secretary of State, having consulted the chair.

85Other staff

The regulator may appoint employees (in addition to the chief executive).

Proceedings

86Fundamental objectives

(1)The regulator shall perform its functions with a view to achieving the following objectives so far as possible.

(2)Objective 1 is to encourage and support a supply of well-managed social housing, of appropriate quality, sufficient to meet reasonable demands.

(3)Objective 2 is to ensure that actual or potential tenants of social housing have an appropriate degree of—

(a)choice, and

(b)protection.

(4)Objective 3 is to ensure that tenants of social housing have the opportunity to be involved in its management.

(5)Objective 4 is to ensure that registered providers of social housing perform their functions efficiently, effectively and economically.

(6)Objective 5 is to ensure that registered providers of social housing are financially viable and properly managed.

(7)Objective 6 is to encourage registered providers of social housing to contribute to the environmental, social and economic well-being of the areas in which the housing is situated.

(8)Objective 7 is to encourage investment in social housing (including by promoting the availability of financial services to registered providers of social housing).

(9)Objective 8 is to avoid the imposition of an unreasonable burden (directly or indirectly) on public funds.

(10)Objective 9 is to guard against the misuse of public funds.

(11)Objective 10 is to regulate in a manner which—

(a)minimises interference, and

(b)is proportionate, consistent, transparent and accountable.

(12)Pursuit of Objective 10 includes, but is not necessarily limited to, compliance with any duty of the regulator under section 22 of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006 (c. 51) (code of practice).

(13)The order in which the objectives are listed in this section is not significant; the regulator shall balance them as it thinks appropriate.

(14)The objectives are referred to in this Part as the regulator’s fundamental objectives.

87Procedure

(1)The regulator may determine its own procedure (which may include provision about a quorum).

(2)The regulator shall make such arrangements as it thinks appropriate for publishing its procedure.

88Conflict of interest

(1)The regulator’s procedural arrangements under section 87 must include arrangements for dealing with any conflict of interest of—

(a)members,

(b)employees, or

(c)members of committees and sub-committees.

(2)The arrangements must oblige a person—

(a)to declare any financial or other personal interest relevant to the exercise of a function, and

(b)to withdraw from the performance of that function unless the regulator directs otherwise, being satisfied that the interest will not influence performance of the function.

89Committees

(1)The regulator may establish committees and sub-committees.

(2)A committee or sub-committee may include non-members (provided that it includes at least one member).

90Delegation

The regulator may authorise any of the following to exercise a function—

(a)a committee,

(b)a sub-committee,

(c)a member, and

(d)an employee.

91Seal

(1)The application of the regulator’s seal shall be authenticated by a member or by some other person authorised (generally or specially) for that purpose.

(2)A document purporting to be duly executed under the seal—

(a)shall be received in evidence, and

(b)shall be treated as so executed unless the contrary is shown.

92Annual report

(1)As soon as is reasonably practicable after the end of each financial year the regulator shall—

(a)prepare a report on the performance of its functions during the year, and

(b)send a copy to the Secretary of State.

(2)The report must, in particular—

(a)include a statement of the regulator’s accounts,

(b)specify any direction given to the regulator by the Secretary of State in that year under section 197, and

(c)contain a general description of complaints made to the regulator in that year about the performance of registered providers and of how those complaints have been dealt with.

(3)The Secretary of State shall lay a copy before Parliament.

Powers

93General

(1)The regulator may do anything it thinks necessary or expedient for the purpose of or in connection with the performance of a function conferred on it by this Part or another enactment.

(2)In particular, the regulator may do anything it thinks appropriate for advancing its fundamental objectives.

94Studies

(1)The regulator may carry out or commission studies designed to improve the economy, effectiveness and efficiency of registered providers.

(2)The regulator may publish a report on a study.

95Financial assistance

(1)The regulator may, where it thinks it advances a fundamental objective, give financial assistance to a person in connection with—

(a)undertaking research,

(b)preparing guidance,

(c)developing and publicising best practice, or

(d)facilitating the management of social housing by tenants.

(2)Financial assistance under subsection (1) may be given—

(a)by way of grant,

(b)by way of loan,

(c)by defraying expenditure on behalf of a person, or

(d)in any other way except purchasing loan or share capital of a body corporate or giving a guarantee or indemnity.

(3)The regulator may, where it thinks it advances a fundamental objective, give financial assistance to a registered provider by—

(a)lending money to or in respect of the registered provider, or

(b)giving a guarantee or indemnity in respect of the registered provider.

(4)Financial assistance may be given under subsection (3) only with the consent of the Secretary of State (given with the approval of the Treasury).

(5)Financial assistance under subsection (1) or (3) may be given on conditions (which may include provision for repayment, with or without interest).

96Evidence

In considering whether to exercise a power under this Part the regulator may have regard to information or opinions from any source including, in particular, from—

(a)tenants,

(b)bodies representing tenants,

(c)local housing authorities, or

(d)an ombudsman appointed by virtue of section 124.

97Information, advice etc.

(1)The regulator may for the purpose of advancing its fundamental objectives—

(a)publish ideas or information;

(b)undertake research in relation to social housing;

(c)provide guidance, advice, education or training.

(2)The regulator may for that purpose—

(a)arrange for another person to do anything within subsection (1)(a) to (c);

(b)act jointly with, cooperate with or assist another person doing anything within subsection (1)(a) to (c).

(3)The persons to whom advice may be given under subsection (1) include—

(a)unregistered housing associations (as defined by section 2B of the Housing Associations Act 1985 (c. 69)), and

(b)persons who may be forming a housing association (within the meaning of section 1(1) of that Act).

98Tenant involvement

(1)The regulator shall—

(a)promote awareness of the regulator’s functions among tenants of social housing,

(b)where the regulator thinks it appropriate, consult them about the exercise of its functions (for example, by holding meetings), and

(c)where the regulator thinks it appropriate, involve them in the exercise of its functions (for example, by appointing them to committees or sub-committees).

(2)The regulator shall from time to time publish a statement about how it proposes to comply with subsection (1).

(3)Before publishing a statement the regulator must consult such persons as it thinks appropriate.

Money

99Remuneration

(1)The regulator may pay to or in respect of appointed members—

(a)remuneration,

(b)travelling and other allowances, and

(c)sums by way of or in respect of pensions and gratuities.

(2)The Secretary of State shall determine rates and eligibility criteria for payments under subsection (1).

(3)If the Secretary of State thinks there are special circumstances that make it right to compensate a person on ceasing to be an appointed member, the regulator may pay compensation determined by the Secretary of State.

(4)The regulator may pay to or in respect of employees —

(a)remuneration,

(b)travelling and other allowances, and

(c)sums by way of or in respect of pensions and gratuities.

(5)In this section a reference to a member or employee includes a reference to a former member or employee.

100Charging

The regulator may charge for giving advice, conducting research or providing other services.

101Assistance by Secretary of State

(1)The Secretary of State may make payments to the regulator by way of grant or loan.

(2)A grant or loan may be subject to conditions (which may include provision for repayment, with or without interest).

102Borrowing

(1)The regulator may borrow—

(a)by way of overdraft or otherwise, for the purpose of what it considers to be short-term management of its finances, or

(b)from the Secretary of State.

(2)The regulator may not borrow otherwise.

103Accounts

(1)The regulator shall keep accounts (and records of its accounts).

(2)As soon as is reasonably practicable after the end of each financial year the regulator shall prepare a statement of accounts in respect of that financial year.

(3)The statement must be in such form as the Secretary of State may direct.

(4)The regulator shall, within such period as the Secretary of State may direct, send a copy of the statement to—

(a)the Secretary of State, and

(b)the Comptroller and Auditor General.

(5)The Comptroller and Auditor General shall—

(a)examine, certify and report on the statement, and

(b)lay a copy of the report before Parliament.

104Financial year

(1)The regulator’s financial year is each period of 12 months beginning with 1st April.

(2)But the first financial year is the period—

(a)beginning with the day on which section 81 comes into force, and

(b)ending with the next 31st March.

Relationship with other bodies

105Cooperation with the HCA

(1)The regulator shall cooperate with the HCA.

(2)In particular, the regulator shall consult the HCA on matters likely to interest it.

106Direction to the HCA

(1)The regulator may direct the HCA not to give financial assistance to a specified registered provider—

(a)under section 19, and

(b)in connection with social housing.

(2)A direction may be given if—

(a)the regulator has decided to hold an inquiry into affairs of the registered provider under section 206 (and the inquiry is not concluded),

(b)the regulator has received notice in respect of the registered provider under section 145, or

(c)the regulator has appointed an officer of the registered provider under section 269 (and the person appointed has not vacated office).

(3)A direction may prohibit the HCA from giving assistance of a specified kind (whether or not in pursuance of a decision already taken and communicated to the registered provider).

(4)A direction may not prohibit grants to a registered provider in respect of discounts given by the provider on disposals of dwellings to tenants.

(5)A direction shall have effect until withdrawn.

Information

107Collection

(1)The regulator may for a purpose connected with its functions require a person to provide documents or information which it has reason to believe is or may be in the person’s possession and which relates to—

(a)the financial or other affairs of a registered provider;

(b)activities which are or may be carried out by a person who is, or who has applied to become, a registered provider.

(2)A requirement may be imposed on a person other than the body to which the document or information relates only if—

(a)the body has been required to provide the document or information but has failed to do so, or

(b)the regulator thinks that the body is unable to provide it.

(3)A requirement may specify—

(a)the form and manner in which a document or information is to be provided (which may include the provision of a legible copy of information stored electronically);

(b)when and where it is to be provided.

(4)The regulator may copy or record documents or information provided.

(5)Failure to comply with a requirement without reasonable excuse is an offence.

(6)Intentionally altering, suppressing or destroying a document or information to which a requirement relates is an offence.

(7)If a person fails to comply with a requirement the High Court may, on an application by the regulator, make an order for the purpose of remedying the failure.

108Section 107: supplemental

(1)A requirement does not require a person to disclose anything which the person would be entitled to refuse to disclose on grounds of legal professional privilege in proceedings in the High Court.

(2)A requirement does not require a banker to breach a duty of confidentiality owed to a person who is not—

(a)the registered provider to whose affairs or activities the documents or information relates,

(b)a subsidiary of the registered provider, or

(c)an associate of the registered provider.

(3)A person guilty of an offence under section 107(5) is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

(4)A person guilty of an offence under section 107(6) is liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to—

(i)imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years,

(ii)a fine, or

(iii)both.

(5)Proceedings for an offence under section 107(5) or (6) may be brought only by or with the consent of—

(a)the regulator, or

(b)the Director of Public Prosecutions.

(6)An order under section 107(7) may include provision about costs.

109Disclosure

(1)A public authority may disclose information to the regulator if the authority thinks that the disclosure is necessary for a purpose connected with the regulator’s functions.

(2)The regulator may disclose information to a public authority if the regulator thinks that the disclosure is necessary—

(a)for a purpose connected with the regulator’s functions, or

(b)for a purpose connected with the authority’s functions.

(3)The regulator may disclose information to a person acting on its behalf for a purpose connected with the regulator’s functions.

(4)A disclosure may be subject to restrictions on further disclosure.

(5)The power to disclose information under this section is subject to any express restriction on disclosure imposed by another enactment (ignoring any restriction which allows disclosure if authorised by an enactment).

(6)Disclosure in contravention of a restriction under subsection (4) is an offence.

(7)A person guilty of an offence is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

(8)“Public authority” means a person having functions of a public nature (whether or not in the United Kingdom).

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

You have chosen to open The Whole Act

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open The Whole Act as a PDF

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open The Whole Act without Schedules

The Whole Act without Schedules you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open The Whole Act without Schedules as a PDF

The Whole Act without Schedules you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open The Whole Part

The Whole Part you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open The Whole Part as a PDF

The Whole Part you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open the Whole Act

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open the Whole Act without Schedules

The Whole Act without Schedules you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open Schedules only

The Schedules you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made):The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

See additional information alongside the content

Show Explanatory Notes for Sections: Displays relevant parts of the explanatory notes interweaved within the legislation content.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources
Close

Impact Assessments

Impact Assessments generally accompany all UK Government interventions of a regulatory nature that affect the private sector, civil society organisations and public services. They apply regardless of whether the regulation originates from a domestic or international source and can accompany primary (Acts etc) and secondary legislation (SIs). An Impact Assessment allows those with an interest in the policy area to understand:

  • Why the government is proposing to intervene;
  • The main options the government is considering, and which one is preferred;
  • How and to what extent new policies may impact on them; and,
  • The estimated costs and benefits of proposed measures.
Close

More Resources

Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • correction slips

Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including:

  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • links to related legislation and further information resources