Guidance

Deregulatory measures for social housing regulation from 6 April 2017

This page sets out the transition from the previous consents regime to the new notification and registration environment

New guidance, directions and associated forms from 6 April 2017

See the Restructures and constitutional changes page, including for registration of a restructured body.

See the Notification of disposals page.

See the Register and de-register as a provider of social housing page.

See the Disposal Proceeds Fund page for guidance updated in August 2017.

For information about the Charity Commission’s requirements for charitable registered providers, see the alert for housing associations of changes to the land disposal framework.

The relevant provisions in section 92 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 came into force on 6 April 2017 and are applicable to both non-profit and profit-making private registered providers. (These provisions do not apply to local authorities and any mention of “providers” below should be taken as excluding local authorities).

We will refer to the measures contained in section 92 (and Schedule 4) of the HPA 2016 entitled ‘reducing social housing regulation’ as “deregulatory measures”.

This page explains how we approached applications in progress, for either disposal or constitutional consents and on-going restructures, including mergers.

What has changed?

Legislative changes

  • Removal of the constitutional consents regime - non-profit registered providers no longer need to seek the regulator’s consent before changing their objects, amending their governing document to make provision about the distribution of assets to members, becoming or ceasing to be a subsidiary or associate of another body, or restructuring (eg converting from a company to a registered society or vice versa; amalgamating; or transferring engagements).

  • Removal of the disposals consent regime - registered providers no longer need to seek the regulator’s consent to sell social housing or charge it for security.

  • The introduction of notification requirements for all private registered providers to notify the regulator of disposals of social housing dwellings, and for some providers to notify the regulator of disposals of other land; and

  • The introduction of notification requirements for non-profit providers to notify the regulator about: changes to governing documents; company changes of name or registered addresses; certain restructures; dissolutions of registered societies; and company arrangements and reconstructions.

  • The requirement for a decision on the registration of a new body arising from certain restructures - in some circumstances, the HPA 2016 imposes on the regulator a specific statutory duty to make a registration decision about the body that results from a restructure.

  • Changes in requirements about the Disposal Proceeds Fund (DPF) - from 6 April 2017 registered providers do not have to pay new proceeds from relevant disposals into a DPF but existing DPF funds must be managed and spent in accordance with current requirements for a further period.

  • Amendment of the power to appoint board members and managers - where there has been a breach of any legal requirements, the regulator will have the power to make board member and manager appointments.

On-going obligations

Following deregulatory measures coming into effect and the requirement to seek the regulator’s consent being removed, providers must continue to meet all remaining obligations, including:

  • The regulator’s standards: Providers must continue to meet all remaining obligations relevant to disposals, restructures and constitutional changes including adherence to the regulator’s standards and any current guidance.

  • Grant funding and lender requirements: Requirements must be met - a failure to do so may result in a breach of the regulator’s standards (in addition to any obligations to the grant funding body or lender).

  • Charitable status: Charity law rules and limitations must continue to be observed (whether the provider is a registered charity or an exempt charity).

Detailed overview of legislative changes

Detailed overview of legislative changes

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This document covers the legislative changes in detail, in particular setting out more about the notification requirements under the HPA 2016.

Changes to the Regulatory Framework

The regulator has made some changes to the regulatory framework as a result of these legislative changes.

Consultation on the Tenant Involvement and Empowerment Standard

The regulator carried out a consultation on changes to the TIE standard. The proposals are in light of the deregulatory measures and aim to clarify and strengthen the regulator’s requirements around consultation with tenants when providers are proposing to change their landlord or when proposing a significant change in their management arrangements.

Consultation on changes to the registration criteria

The regulator carried out a consultation on changes to the registration criteria to coincide with the commencement of the de-regulatory measures on 6 April 2017. This includes:

  • changes to the registration criteria for new entrants to the sector to take account of the removal of the consent regime
  • registration criteria for post-restructure “new bodies” where the HPA 2016 imposes a statutory obligation on the regulator to make a registration decision.

Changes to the Disposal Proceeds Fund

The regulator published Guidance on the effect of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 on the Disposal Proceeds Fund in August 2017 which is available on the Disposal Proceeds Fund page.

Published 8 February 2017
Last updated 31 August 2017 + show all updates
  1. Page updated with information on the Disposal Proceeds Fund (31 August 2017).
  2. New guidance, directions and associated forms published for 6 April 2017 (15 March 2017).
  3. First published.