Brexit and the election of a minority Conservative Government
leaves a question mark over introduction of the HVA levy and
fixed-term tenancies under Part 4 of the Housing and Planning
Although powers to introduce the HVA levy and fixed-term
tenancies are contained within the Act, the associated Regulations
for both are subject to the "affirmative resolution" process and
must be laid before Parliament and be debated by both houses of
Parliament prior to approval.
Previous Housing Minister Gavin Barwell made
an announcement at the end of last year that stock retained
councils would not be expected to make any payments of the HVA levy
in the financial year 2017/18. However, it remains unclear if or
when the necessary Regulations will be laid before Parliament to
require councils to make any payments from April 2018.
The timetable for introduction of fixed-term tenancies for new
tenants of social housing also remains unclear. Shortly before the
Prime Minister's decision to call a snap General Election, ARCH was
advised that the
DCLG were expecting to consult on the draft Regulations and
Guidance for fixed-term tenancies. It is now uncertain if that
consultation will proceed any time soon.
Parliamentary time to debate the necessary Regulations will
inevitably be limited due to Brexit. There must be some doubt
whether a minority Conservative Government would command the
necessary parliamentary majority to approve the Regulations given
the significant opposition to the proposals in both the Commons and
the Lords when the Housing and Planning Bill was debated.
DCLG officials have acknowledged that both the HVA levy and
fixed-term tenancies require legislation. In the short time since
the General Election, Ministers have not yet been able to take a
view on these matters in light of the current political context
following the election.
We will keep our member advised on the latest developments on
these two key policy areas as they emerge.