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Housing (Scotland) Act 2014

Scottish Housing Regulator: transfer of assets following inquiries

199.Section 97 makes amendments to section 67 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010 (“the 2010 Act”).

200.Paragraph (a) introduces new subsections (4A), (4B) and (4C) to section 67 of the 2010 Act.

201.Subsection (4A) has the effect of creating a narrow exception to the duty on the Scottish Housing Regulator (the Regulator), at section 67(4), always to consult and have regard to the views of tenants and secured creditors that hold securities over houses of a registered social landlord (RSL) before it directs a transfer of the RSL’s assets. The exception would apply in circumstances where the Regulator considered that all of the conditions specified at (a) to (d) of the new subsection were satisfied. These relate to the RSL being in financial jeopardy and vulnerable to steps being taken towards its insolvency, winding up etc. Where the direction to transfer assets would reduce the risk of such steps being taken, if made without the delay that consultation with either the RSL’s tenants or its secured creditors would cause, the Regulator could direct the transfer of a RSL’s assets without such consultations. When the Regulator is considering whether to direct a transfer without such consultations, it must consider separately whether there is time for it to consult the tenants and time for it to consult the secured creditors. If it concludes that there would be time to consult one group but not the other, it must consult that group. In all other circumstances, the duty to consult tenants and secured creditors that section 67(4) imposes on the Regulator would remain.

202.Subsection (4B) requires the Regulator to consult and issue guidance on the circumstances in which it would expect subsection (4A) to apply, the actions it would expect to take in circumstances where subsection (4A) applied, and how it would communicate with any tenants and their representatives, RSLs and their representatives, and secured creditors and their representatives affected by subsection (4A) being applied.

203.Subsection (4C) inserts a replacement provision for section 67(6)(a) of the 2010 Act, which paragraph (b) of section 79 of the Act repeals. Section 67(b)(a) requires the Regulator, when it is directing the transfer of some of the assets of a RSL, always to obtain an independent valuation of the assets to be transferred and to direct the transfer at a price that it considers the assets would fetch on the open market. Subsection (4C) reinstates the duty on the Regulator to obtain an independent valuation, but instead of requiring the Regulator to direct any transfer at an open market price, requires it to have regard to the valuation in directing the transfer.

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