Housing Defects Act 1984

Cited as:1984 c. 50
Jurisdiction:UK Non-devolved


Housing Defects Act 1984

1984 CHAPTER 50

An Act to make provision in connection with defective dwellings disposed of by public sector authorities; and to provide for certain provisions in agreements between building societies to be disregarded for the purposes of the Restrictive Trade Practices Act 1976.

[31st July 1984]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Eligibility

Eligibility

S-1 Designation of defective dwellings.

1 Designation of defective dwellings.

(1) The Secretary of State may designate as a class any buildings each of which consists of or includes one or more dwellings if it appears to him that—

(a ) buildings in the proposed class are defective by reason of their design or construction, and

(b ) by virtue of the circumstances mentioned in paragraph (a ) above having become generally known, the value of some or all of the dwellings concerned has been substantially reduced.

(2) Any dwelling which a building in a class designated under this section consists of or includes is referred to in this Act as a ‘defective dwelling’; and in this Act in relation to such a dwelling—

(a ) ‘the qualifying defect’ means that which, in the opinion of the Secretary of State, is wrong with the buildings in that class; and

(b ) ‘the cut-off date’ means the date by which, in the opinion of the Secretary of State, the circumstances mentioned in subsection (1)(a ) above became generally known.

(3) A designation under this section shall describe the qualifying defect and specify—

(a ) the date on which the designation is to come into operation

(b ) the cut-off date (not being a date falling after the date specified under paragraph (a ) above); and

(c ) the period within which persons may seek assistance under this Act in respect of the defective dwellings concerned.

(4) The Secretary of State may vary or revoke a designation under this section and may by a variation of the designation extend the period referred to in subsection (3)(c ) above, whether or not it has expired; but

(a ) no variation or revocation shall affect the operation of the provisions of this Act in relation to any dwelling if, before the variation or revocation comes into operation it is a defective dwelling by virtue of the designation in question and application for assistance in respect of it has been made under section 3 of this Act; and

(b ) no variation shall alter the cut-off date.

(5) Notice of a designation under this section and of the variation or revocation of such a designation shall—

(a ) if it relates to England or Wales, be published in the London Gazette, and

(b ) if it relates to Scotland, be published in the Edinburgh Gazette.

(6) Any question arising as to whether a building is or was at any time in a class designated under this section shall be determined by the Secretary of State.

(7) A designation under this section may make different provision in relation to England, Scotland and Wales; subject to that, no such designation shall describe a designated class by reference to the area in which the buildings concerned are situated.

S-2 Eligibility for assistance.

2 Eligibility for assistance.

(1) Subject to the following provisions of this Act, a person to whom this section applies is eligible for assistance in respect of a defective dwelling for the purposes of this Act if—

(a ) he holds a relevant interest in the dwelling, and

(b ) one of the following sets of conditions is satisfied.

(2) The first set of conditions is that—

(a ) there was a disposal by a public sector authority of a relevant interest in the dwelling before the cut-off date; and

(b ) there has been no disposal for value by any person of a relevant interest in the dwelling on or after the cut-off date

and for the purposes of this subsection where a public sector authority hold an interest in a dwelling a disposal of that interest by or under any enactment is to be treated as a disposal by the authority.

(3) The second set of conditions is that—

(a ) a person to whom this section applies acquired a relevant interest in the dwelling on a disposal for value occurring within the period of twelve months beginning with the cut-off date

(b ) on the date of that disposal that person was unaware of the association of the dwelling with the qualifying defect

(c ) the value by reference to which the price for the disposal was calculated did not take any, or any adequate, account of the qualifying defect; and

(d ) if the cut-off date had fallen immediately after the date of the disposal, the first set of conditions would have been satisfied.

(4) A person who holds a relevant interest in a defective dwelling is not eligible for assistance in respect of the dwelling at any time when that interest is subject to the rights of a person who is a protected occupier within the meaning of the Rent (Agriculture) Act 1976 or a statutory tenant within the meaning of that Act.

(5) No person is eligible for assistance in respect of a defective dwelling if the appropriate authority are of the opinion that—

(a ) work to the building that consists of or includes the dwelling has been carried out in order to deal with the qualifying defect, and

(b ) on the completion of the work, no further work relating to the dwelling was required to be done to me building in order to deal satisfactorily with the qualifying defect.

(6) In this Act, references to a disposal, except in paragraph 2 of Schedule 2, include references to a part disposal; but, for the purposes of this Act, a disposal of an interest in a dwelling is a disposal of a relevant interest in the dwelling if, and only if, on the disposal the person to whom it is made acquires a relevant interest in the dwelling.

(7) This section applies to—

(a ) an individual who is not a trustee,

(b ) trustees, if all the beneficiaries are individuals, and

(c ) personal representatives.

(8) In this Act—

(a ) ‘relevant interest’ means the freehold or a long tenancy unless, in either case, it is subject to a long tenancy and, in Scotland, means the interest of the owner;

(b ) references to an interest in a dwelling are references to an interest in land which is or includes the dwelling;

(c ) in relation to a person holding an interest in a dwelling formed by the conversion of another dwelling, references to a previous disposal of an interest in the dwelling include a reference to a previous disposal on which an interest in land which included that part of the original dwelling in which his interest subsists was acquired; and

(d ) references to a disposal of an interest for value are references to a disposal for money or money's worth, whether or not representing full value for the interest disposed of.

(9) Subject to subsection (10) below, a tenancy is a long tenancy for the purposes of subsection (8) above if—

(a ) it is a tenancy granted for a term certain exceeding twenty-one years, whether or not it is (or may become) terminable before the end of that term by notice given by or to the tenant or by re-entry, forfeiture or otherwise;

(b ) it is a tenancy granted in pursuance of Chapter I of Part I of the 1980 Act or Part I of the Housing and Building Control Act 1984 ; or

(c ) it is a tenancy for a term fixed by law under a grant with a covenant or obligation for perpetual renewal, unless it is a tenancy by sub-demise from one which is not a long tenancy.

(10) A tenancy is not a long tenancy for those purposes if—

(a ) it is an interest created by way of security and liable to termination by the exercise of a right of redemption or otherwise; or

(b ) it is a secure tenancy (within the meaning of Chapter II of Part I of the 1980 Act).

S-3 Entitlement to reinstatement grant or repurchase.

3 Entitlement to reinstatement grant or repurchase.

(1) Any person seeking assistance under this Act in respect of a defective dwelling shall make a written application to the appropriate authority within such period as is specified in the designation in question.

(2) Subject to subsection (8) below and section 21(3) of this Act an authority receiving such an application shall, if the applicant is eligible for assistance in respect of the defective dwelling, determine whether he is entitled to assistance by way of reinstatement grant or by way of repurchase.

(3) For the purposes of that determination the applicant is entitled to assistance by way of reinstatement grant if—

(a ) the authority are satisfied that each of the conditions mentioned in subsection (4) below is met, and

(b ) subsection (5) below does not apply in his case,

and in any other case he is entitled to assistance by way of repurchase.

(4) The conditions referred to in subsection (3) above are that—

(a ) the defective dwelling is a house;

(b ) if the work required to reinstate the dwelling (together with any other work which the authority are satisfied the applicant proposes to carry out) were carried out—

(i) the dwelling would be likely to provide satisfactory housing accommodation for a period of at least thirty years, and

(ii) an individual acquiring the freehold of the dwelling with vacant possession would be likely to be able to arrange a mortgage on satisfactory terms with a lending institution;

(c ) giving assistance by way of reinstatement grant is justified having regard, on the one hand, to the amount of reinstatement grant that would be payable in respect of the dwelling in pursuance of this Act and, on the other hand, to the likely value of the freehold of the dwelling with vacant possession after the work required to reinstate it had been carried out; and

(d ) the amount of reinstatement grant that would be so payable would not be likely to exceed the...

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