Q&As

Can a local authority dispose of a dwelling house used as staff accommodation rather than social housing without Secretary of State consent or will it be required in accordance with the General Housing Consents?

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Produced in partnership with Kevin Long of Hackney Community Law Centre
Published on LexisPSL on 18/01/2018

The following Local Government Q&A produced in partnership with Kevin Long of Hackney Community Law Centre provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can a local authority dispose of a dwelling house used as staff accommodation rather than social housing without Secretary of State consent or will it be required in accordance with the General Housing Consents?
  • Statutory concept of social housing
  • Disposal without consent
  • General Disposal Consent 2003
  • General Housing Consents 2013 (General Consent C)
  • Disposal with the specific consent of the Appropriate National Body
  • General Housing Consents 2013 (General Consent A)

In this Q&A we refer to ‘disposal’ as the transfer of the freehold interest, or to the granting of an option to acquire the same (and does not refer to other types of disposal; such as by assignment of a long leasehold interest, disposal by way of tenancy, by short lease, or by charging it as security for a loan etc) and that the disposal is not to a body in which the local authority owns an interest and not to an individual who intends to use it as their only or principal home. We also assume that the local authority referred to is based in England or Wales. The ‘General Disposal Consent 2003’ refers to Circular 06/03: Local Government Act 1972, General Disposal Consent (England) 2003 and assumes that no occupier has the right to buy (see Wragg v Surrey County Council).

From the facts as presented the local authority will either not require consent at all (if the property is not ‘housing accommodation’ under Part II of the Housing Act 1985 (HA 1985) and is being sold a full market value) or will seemingly need to make a specific disposal consent request under HA 1985, s 32 to its Appropriate National Body (ie to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if in England, or to the Welsh Ministers if in

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