Payments and grant of benefits by registered housing associations

31.—(1) Subject to paragraph (5), a registered housing association shall not make any payment or grant any benefit to—

(a)a person who is, or at any time within the relevant period has been, a committee member, officer or employee of the association;

(b)a close relative of such a person; or

(c)a business trading for profit in which a person falling within sub-paragraph (a) has a personal interest.

(2) In paragraph (1)(a), “the relevant period” means the period of 12 months immediately preceding the making of the payment or the grant of the benefit.

(3) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(c), a person has a personal interest in a business if he, or a close relative of his, either is one of the principal proprietors of the business or is directly concerned with its management.

(4) Any sum paid, or the value of any benefit granted, by a registered housing association in breach of paragraph (1) shall be recoverable by the association; and proceedings for its recovery shall be taken by the association if the Department gives it a direction to that effect.

(5) This Article does not apply to—

(a)any payment made or benefit granted by a registered housing association to an officer or employee under his contract of employment with the association;

(b)any payment of expenses made by such an association to a member of its committee;

(c)any payment to which, by virtue of paragraph (2) of Article 30, paragraph (1) of that Article does not apply;

(d)any payment of expenses to which Article 30(3)(c) applies;

(e)the grant or renewal of a tenancy of a house; or

(f)any payment made or benefit granted by a registered housing association in such class or classes of case as may be specified in a determination made by the Department.

(6) The Department may make different determinations for the purposes of paragraph (5)(f) and, before making such a determination, the Department shall consult such bodies appearing to it to be representative of registered housing associations as it considers appropriate; and after making such a determination the Department shall publish the determination in such manner as it considers appropriate for bringing it to the notice of the associations concerned.