Welsh Government launches consultation on regulatory reform of social landlords

Posted by Paula Kathrens on
This week the Welsh Government launched its long awaited consultation on the regulatory reform of social landlords in Wales. The main issue addressed in the consultation paper is the proposal to re-classify Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) as private sector and the paper seeks view on a range of changes to central and local government controls over RSLs to achieve the re-classification, including:
  • Disposal consents – proposal to remove any requirement for the Welsh Ministers to consent to the disposal of land by a RSL or former RSL and for this to be replaced with a notification requirement.  Importantly the new notification requirement would not allow the Welsh Ministers to stop or prevent a transaction from taking place.
  • Power to direct the permitted use of disposal proceeds – proposal to remove the power for the Welsh Ministers to specify sale proceeds and other sums to be shown separately in the accounts and the power to direct the permitted uses.  
  • Restructure and Dissolution – proposal to remove any requirements for the Welsh Ministers to consent to certain restructures and dissolutions and for this to be replaced with a notification requirement where appropriate. As above, the new notification requirements would not allow the Welsh Ministers to stop or prevent a transaction but will ensure that the Regulator always has a current list of regulated bodies.
  • Regulatory powers (enforcement) – proposal to change the conditions or threshold under which the Welsh Ministers can take specified action.  It is proposed that the threshold will be linked to situations where an RSL has failed to comply with any of its statutory duties or to meet a regulatory requirement set by the Regulator using any of its statutory powers.    
  • Introduce a new power to reduce Local Authority (LA) influence over RSLs in Wales – including limiting the number of Local Authority appointees on a RSL board to a maximum of 24%, removing LA appointees before the end of their term, removing controlling votes of LA appointees, removing the requirement for LA appointees to be present to achieve a quorate meeting and removing requirements for separate consents from LA appointees.

The consultation paper can be found here.

Consultation closes on 3 July 2017 and you can submit your views by email to HousingRegulation@Wales.GSI.Gov.UK

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Paula is a Partner in our Employment law team advising organisations in both the public and private sectors on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment law.

Paula Kathrens
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