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Private Sector Housing Renewal Policy

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					        Corby Borough Council




Private Sector Housing Renewal Policy




                            February 2007




                  1
                                       Contents


 1.   Introduction                                            3-4
2.    The Local Context                                       4-5
3.    Policy Implementation Plan                              6
      Meeting Key Strategic and Service related Aims and
4.                                                            7-12
      Objectives
5.    Resourcing the Private Sector Housing Renewal Policy    12-13
6.    Types of Assistance Available                           13-14
7.    The Application Process and How to Access it            14-16
8.    Grant/Loan Details                                      16-20
      8.1 Mandatory Disabled Facilities Grants                16
      8.2 Discretionary Disabled Facilities Grants            16
      8.3 Discretionary Home Repair Assistance Grants/Loans   16-17
      8.4 Discretionary Minor Works Grants                    17-19
      8.5 Discretionary Landlords Grants                      19
      8.6 Discretionary Long Term Empty Property Grants       19
      8.7 Other Forms of Assistance                           20
9.    Prioritisation for Grant/Loan Applications              20
10.   Grant/Loan Terms and Conditions                         20-28
      Appeals process for grant/loan applications outside
11.                                                           28
      policy
12.   Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy               29-32
13.   Complaints Policy                                       33-38
14.   Definitions                                             39-41

                            Appendices


      BVPP and Housing Strategy extracts for Performance
1                                                             42
      Indicators
      Information re previous definitions of relevant and
2                                                             43-44
      exempt disposals




                                             2
1.   INTRODUCTION


     The Regulatory Reform (Housing Assistance) (England and Wales) Order 2002 came into
     force on 18 July 2002, repealing much of the prescriptive legislation governing the
     provision of previous housing assistance. This was replaced with new wide ranging
     powers to provide assistance for housing renewal significantly based on local needs and
     achievement of strategic objectives. The increased flexibility allows for new and innovative
     approaches to housing renewal and will require regular review together with the overall
     Housing Strategy.

     The First Private Sector Housing Renewal Policy came into effect on 18 July 2003 and
     was subject to review in September 2005. It has now been subject to a second review
     given current demand for grant assistance, recent changes in legislation and the private
     sector stock condition survey which reported in summer 2006.

     This Private Sector Housing Renewal Policy is effective from 1st February 2007. It will be
     subject to further review at such time as local or national circumstances require and at the
     latest by 2012. The authority, as part of a county partnership approach, is currently
     investigating loans/equity release loans as a possible source of assistance to
     householders. In the event of an introduction of loans as part of the Councils approach to
     private sector housing renewal it will require a change to this policy.

     This policy document limits itself to consideration of works of repair, improvement or
     adaptation etc rather than enabling housing provision in the first place, which is
     considered through the Housing Strategy.

     The Policy is an important part of the Council‟s Housing Strategy and will compliment its
     efforts to create a balanced housing market and regenerate areas of low housing demand.



     Extracts from Central Government publication


     “Poor quality housing can have an impact on the health of the occupants and on the
     quality of life in an area. The Governments view is that it is primarily the responsibility of
     homeowners to maintain their own property. However, the government is committed to
     improving housing quality across all tenures including the owner occupied sector and fully
     accepts that some homeowners, particularly the elderly and most vulnerable, do not have
     the necessary resources to keep their homes in good repair. Local authorities therefore
     have an important role to provide assistance in these cases”.




                                               3
      “It is not intended to bring about the wholesale replacement of housing grants with loans”.

      “The Government would also consider that an authority was failing in its duty as a housing
      enabler and in its responsibility to consider the condition of the local private sector stock if
      it did not make some provision for (private sector housing) assistance.”

                                                              “Office of the Deputy Prime Minister”
                                                              June 2002



      It is in this context that the Council has produced its latest private sector housing renewal
      policy.




2.   THE LOCAL CONTEXT

      About Corby

      The Borough of Corby covers an area of 80 square kilometres in the north-eastern part of
      the county of Northamptonshire in the East Midlands region. The town of Corby itself
      accounts for most of the area of the Borough but there is also a rural area, including the
      villages of Gretton, Weldon, Stanion, East Carlton, Cottingham and Middleton.

      Road links to the north and south are afforded by the A1, which passes the Borough to the
      east, and the M1, to the west. Access to the east/west is provided by the A14. The town
      of Kettering is around 10 miles away offering a high-speed rail service to London via a bus
      link from Corby, whilst an ongoing review process determines whether to provide Corby
      with its own direct rail passenger link.

      Corby was designated a "New Town in 1951, based on the growth of the steel industry at
      the time, and experienced rapid growth throughout the 1960s and 1970s. With the decline
      of steel in the late seventies and early eighties the local economy contracted although it
      has since grown again in new industry and new build housing. Much of the town centre
      was built in the 1960s a significant part of that is now undergoing regeneration scheduled
      for completion in 2007.

      Population

      The population fell by over 4% between 1991 and 2000, however in recent years this
      trend has been reversed slightly and population is projected to increase significantly,
      doubling to 110 000 by 2031. This projected increase in population will be supported by



                                                 4
an additional 7 500 homes by 2016 and a further 20 500 between 2016 and 2031, whilst it
is anticipated that 24 000 new jobs will be created for the increased population. The
current population is just over 53,700, the second highest population density in
Northamptonshire.

A survey of the condition of private sector housing using a sample of randomly selected
stratified properties was undertaken in 2005/6. The key findings extended for the total
private sector stock are summarised as follows:




Table         Key facts from Private Sector Stock Condition Survey & 2001 Census
              (2001 Census detail updated Nov 2006 where possible)

  Population of the Borough/District                                       53,500
                                                                              XX
  Total number of homes                                                    24,038
                                                                              XX
  Total number of privately owned homes                                    18,559
  Rate of unfitness in private housing                                       (1.4%)
                                                                          254 XX
  Additional Dwellings being borderline unfit                                (1.5%)
                                                                          286 XX
  Dwellings with Category 1 Hazards                                       90 (0.5%)
  Dwellings with Category 2 Hazards                                      1590 (9%)
  Dwellings not achieving “Decent Home” standard                        5886 (31.7%)
  Estimated cost of works to deal with unfitness and borderline
                                                                         £2.962 million
   unfitness to a 30 year standard                                            XX
  Estimated cost of remedying non decent homes                           £15 million
   (Those occupied by vulnerable groups)                                 (£1.8 million)
  Percentage of unfit houses where head of household is:
   a) On low income                                                          59%
                                                                            XX%
   b) Aged over 60                                                           42%
                                                                            XX%
  Percentage of unfitness in the private rented sector                     XX%
                                                                             2.3%
   (Including Housing Association dwellings)
  Percentage of all households defined as being                              5%
   a) In fuel poverty
   b) In severe fuel poverty                                                 0.8%
  Percentage of private sector vacant dwellings                             0.9%
                                                                            XX%
  Capital allocated for all grants, including Mandatory DFG‟s for
                                                                           £750,000
   2005/6
                                                                           £550,000
   2006/7
                                                                           £450,000
   2007/8




                                          5
3.   POLICY IMPLEMENTATION PLAN




     This Private Sector Housing Renewal Policy became operational on 1st February 2007
     and will be subject to review as necessary. Regular review of the Council Corporate Plan
     and Best Value Performance Plan, or successor plans, will also influence possible future
     developments.

     Performance within this policy area will be reported in line with corporate reporting of
     National P.I‟s and Local P.I‟s.

     Following the review in 2006 it is intended that this policy should remain in force for a
     minimum of 5 years prior to any further major review and that amendment should only be
     necessary in case of significant change to policy items. In the case of minor changes they
     will be made to the document by the manager in charge of the private sector housing
     team, in consultation with the Head of Service responsible for private sector housing,
     without the need for formal ratification. Minor changes will make no significant difference
     to service provision, eg there is no change to grant assistance offered but there is a name
     change etc. Where amendments produce significant change to service provision those
     amendments will require approval of the appropriate Committee before the operational
     policy changes.

     The Private Sector Housing Renewal Policy will be amended to reflect any changing
     needs of the local community and/or its homes, such information will be conveyed to the
     Council by various means. The latest time a major review and full update of the Private
     Sector Housing Renewal Policy will be undertaken will be during 2012.

     There may be „external‟ factors, which require major review earlier than anticipated, e.g.

          Changes to Capital Spending Plans
          Acute changes to local circumstances
          National policy/legislative changes
          Local Strategic Partnership influences


     In implementing its own policy the Council will make reference to all relevant national
     legislation and guidance currently in place or introduced during the life of this policy. The
     guidance issued for Housing Renewal will be of particular relevance especially where it
     deals with Enforcement, Neighbourhood Renewal Assessment and re-affirms conditions
     etc relating to Mandatory Disabled Facilities Grants.




                                              6
4.    MEETING KEY STRATEGIC AND SERVICE RELATED AIMS


4.1   NATIONAL AND REGIONAL PRIORITIES

       There are key national and regional policies driving the assessment of Corby‟s housing
       services. This is particularly the case with the Government‟s approach to the support of
       „sustainable communities‟. It is crucial that Corby‟s own strategic priorities fit with the
       Government‟s aims for modern housing opportunities, as well as provide a full local
       context for how other needs must be addressed.


       The sections that follow look at:
          The requirements of the Sustainable Communities Plan
          regional and sub-regional priorities

4.2   Priorities for „sustainable communities‟

      In February 2003 the Deputy Prime Minister launched the “Sustainable Communities Plan”
      as a framework within which a broad range of housing, planning and environmental
      concerns could (and should) be addressed. It is worth quoting the first four of the five
      ODPMs strategic priorities for „sustainable‟ communities as they each impact upon the
      Corby area in relation to private sector housing.


      Priority 1 Delivering a better balance between housing supply and demand through
      sustainable growth, reviving markets and tackling abandonment.


      Priority 2 Ensuring people have decent places to live improving the quality of local
      environments and neighbourhoods, reviving brownfield land, and improving the quality of
      housing.


      Priority 3 Tackling disadvantage by reviving the most deprived neighbourhoods, reducing
      social exclusion and supporting society‟s most vulnerable groups.


      Priority 4 Delivering better public services, by devolving decision-making to the most
      effective level (regional, local or neighbourhood);promoting high quality, customer-focused
      services with sufficient and stable levels of resources; clarifying relationships between local,
      central and regional government, and that can enhance neighbourhood engagement.

      CBC and its partners are accordingly involved in a wide variety of activities to address
      these imperatives, as evidenced by:




                                                  7
         A number of problematic properties have been removed from estates in Corby in line
          with the new approach of Neighbourhood Management Plans;
         Assessments on meeting the Government‟s “Decent Homes” standard (PSA7) were
          included in the 2006 Stock Condition Survey, and in plans to generate private sector
          funds towards the improvement of „non-decent‟ homes in private ownership (especially
          those occupied by vulnerable groups);

4.3   Other key national priorities

      There are a number of other key areas of national policy that Corby‟s housing services are
      required to address:


         Community Cohesion
      The promotion of “Community Cohesion” has been identified by the Government as a long-
      term response to addressing the underlying tensions in society.


         Supporting People
      CBC receives finance through the “Northamptonshire Supporting People” programme for
      Corby Care & Repair Home Improvement Agency who act as Agents for the Authority in
      relation to housing grants.


         Health and Older People
      Corby‟s “Health Improvement Plan” was written in November 2003 jointly between CBC
      and the Heartlands PCT, as a local response to the Government‟s „Health of the Nation‟ 10
      year plan. Its inclusion of a focus upon services for older people notes the Government‟s
      „National Service Framework‟ for Older People, and the eight national standards for joint
      work between local authorities and the health services.


         Energy Efficiency
      CBC has a Local Agenda 21 Officer who leads on this matter in response to the Home
      Energy Conservation Act.

         Private Sector Flexibility Advice, Grants & Loans
      CBC has welcomed the changes permitted by the Government‟s „Regulatory Reform
      Order‟. In its initial 2003 Housing Renewal Policy the Authority simplified „renewal‟ grants
      into two types; home repair grants and landlord grants.




                                                8
4.4   Regional and sub-regional priorities


      Corby lies within the „southern sub-region‟ of the “East Midlands” region, which covers
      Rutland, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Derbyshire and the Peak District,
      Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire. The „southern sub-region‟ includes all the District
      Councils within Northamptonshire, plus Market Harborough.


      A new „East Midlands Regional Housing Board‟ was set up in 2003, following the ODPM‟s
      publication of the “Sustainable Communities Plan” comprised of EMDA, (East Midlands
      Development Agency), the Government Office for the East Midlands (GOEM), the Housing
      Corporation, the Countryside Agency, English Partnerships and the Regional Assembly. It
      is tasked with overseeing strategy and investment for all housing services operated by local
      authorities.

      The RHB‟s first „Regional Investment‟ strategy for the 2004/6 period is the guiding force
      behind finance being provided to local housing authorities and housing associations in the
      region. Corby Borough Council has received a small sum towards „Disabled Faciltiies
      Grants‟.


      The East Midlands RHB has also produced a new „Regional Housing Strategy‟ the ‘East
      Midlands Regional Housing Strategy: 2004 – 2010”. This is intended to create an
      „integrated strategic framework‟ alongside other key regional policies like the Regional
      Economic Strategy and Regional Planning Guidance. The overall strategies will be co-
      ordinated with subsequent sub-regional action plans as they emerge in the sub-regional
      areas.



4.5    Local Delivery

       The Council discharges its responsibilities through various strategies, plans and policies
       which must not only serve to inform each other but also inform and be informed by partner
       organisations, (eg Primary Care Trust) and ultimately through the Local Strategic
       Partnership consisting of many and varied bodies with an interest in the local community
       and its overall well being, led by the Council.




                                                 9
 There is a hierarchical arrangement of strategies and plans, which must not be considered
 individually but must work together to achieve overall strategic aims and objectives. A
 simple illustration of this hierarchical arrangement is shown below, the arrows indicating
 flows of information.



                            Strategy/Plan               Responsibility for Strategy/Plans


Highest Level:           Community Strategy                    (Local Strategic Partnership)

                                                      (plus external influences)


Second Level:      Corporate Plan & One Corby               (Corporate Management Team)


                                                                  (Corporate/Departmental
Third Level:       Best Value Performance Plan
                                                                      Management Team)


                     Business Plans & Service
Fourth Level:                                           (Departmental Management Teams)
                            Strategies


                     Employee Development               (Departmental Management Teams
Fifth Level:
                           Scheme                                   and Service Officers)




The Council service strategies, which would be seen to link to this Private Sector Housing
Renewal Policy, are:


                         Housing Strategy
                         Energy Conservation Strategy
                         Empty Homes Strategy
                         Supporting People Strategy
                         Community Safety Strategy
                         Homelessness Strategy




                                            10
The information in this item details the aims and objectives relating to private sector housing
identified in the Council‟s strategies and plans.

          Strategy/Plan                              Aim/Objective Of Relevance To This Policy

Community Strategy                                    To improve the quality and range of housing
                                                         available to residents within the Borough.

Corporate Plan One Corby                              To redevelop and extensively renew Corby‟s
                                                         estates and areas of poorest housing quality.
                                                      Better manage our housing estates

Best Value Performance Plan                           Ensure all residents have access to a decent
                                                         home in a quality environment.

Environmental Health Service Plan                     Invest in private housing and regulate the
                                                         private rented sector to provide safe, healthy
                                                         and desirable housing.

Service Strategies

Housing Strategy
                                                      Consider innovative ways of investment to
                                                         bridge the gap between existing investment
                                                         and that identified by the stock condition
                                                         survey

                                                      Increase investment in private sector housing

Energy Conservation Strategy                          Increase energy efficiency by 30% over 12
                                                         years from 1996.

                                                      promote energy efficiency in the private sector.

Supporting People Strategy                           - Support service users in their own housing,

                                                         enabling the person to live as independently

                                                         as possible

Community Safety Strategy                             Create a safer environment


In addition the East Midlands Regional Housing Statement includes the following key regional
priorities:

                          To ensure that housing provision is sustainable and works against the
                           social exclusion of individuals or communities.




                                                    11
                          To facilitate housing issues being addressed on the basis of appropriate
                           housing market areas, irrespective of local authority boundaries

                          To ensure that the existing housing stock is brought up to acceptable
                           standards.

The Council recognises pockets of deprivation in certain wards with individual properties having
category 1 Hazards that pose a risk of harm to the occupants requiring action to eliminate them.
The private sector, including Housing Associations, provides approximately 75% of all homes in
the Council‟s area and must be considered as an integral part in any Neighbourhood Renewal
schemes etc. In line with the rest of the country the area has an ageing population with increasing
demands to remain independent in their own homes whilst local, national and international
commitments mean the Authority must fulfil its role in reducing fuel poverty and global warming. A
significant proportion of houses in the Borough with category 1 Hazards are in the privately rented
sector or owned by those on low incomes and/or over 60 years of age.

       In investing in the private sector the authority aspires to: -

       1. Ensure that vulnerable households have housing that:

              Meets the Decent Homes standard

              Is adapted for appropriate needs of persons with disabilities

              Is free from category 1 Hazards

       2. Develop area-based proposals to renew and regenerate housing on the lowest demand
       estates where such a need is identified.




5.      RESOURCING THE PRIVATE SECTOR HOUSING RENEWAL POLICY

        The Environmental Quality Department will implement the service provision detailed within
        this policy.

        The revenue costs are substantially salary orientated together with grant support to the
        Home Improvement Agency.

        The substantial element of capital funding for assistance for approved works comes from
        the Council‟s own resources although Central Government do directly reimburse 60% of
        all expenditure on mandatory disabled facilities grants. Whilst the use of such resources
        for the benefit of the private sector will be very much dependent on the Council's financial
        position and corporate priorities there is an increasing realisation that neighbourhoods



                                                   12
        suffering from low demand and disrepair require significant investment.         The capital
        funding allocated to private sector housing renewal may be spent on initiatives within this
        policy or other areas specified by statute, eg Compulsory Purchase in support of Area
        Renewal activity.

        The following capital budgets have been agreed for 2005/06 and are proposed for the
        following years;

                                                        2005/6   2006/7   2007/8   2008/9   2009/10

      Disabled Facility Grants (incl. discretionary) 280,000 550,000 350,000 250,000 250,000

      HRA and MWG Grants                             219,000     200,000 200,000 150,000 200,000

                                    TOTAL £          499,000     750,000 550,000 400,000 450,000




6.      TYPES OF ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE

        The types of assistance available can be broken down into three broad categories of
        education and encouragement, financial and enforcement.

6.1     Education and Encouragement

        The Councils officers will, except where statute says otherwise or there is an imminent
        risk to health or safety, attempt to resolve all issues through processes of education and
        awareness raising to enable property owners to undertake their responsibilities in an
        environment of understanding the needs and benefits of such action.

        In addition the Council will undertake specific targeted educational and promotional
        campaigns in order to achieve certain objectives, eg understanding the need to maintain
        your home and energy conservation measures.

        The provision of advice and encouragement may or may not also involve financial
        assistance.

6.2     Financial Assistance

        The term financial assistance may involve the award of a grant, loan or both or merely the
        offering of advice, either directly or through a third party.




                                                   13
6.2.1    Grants

         The Council may offer the following grants subject to terms and conditions:

            Mandatory Disabled Facility Grants
            Discretionary Disabled Facility Grants
            Discretionary Home Repair Assistance Grants
            Discretionary Minor works Grants
            Discretionary Long Term Empty Property Grants


6.2.2   Loans, Equity Release etc

         The Council will not directly provide loans or arrange equity release. Initially enquirers
         who are not eligible for grant assistance will be advised of this approach to funding repairs
         and will be advised to seek independent advice, e.g. from Age Concern.

         In time it is hoped to provide accessible loans for repair by working in partnership with
         other authorities in the County and a charitable/not for profit loan provider.

6.3     Enforcement

         Enforcement action will not normally be the first response to minor contraventions of
         legislation and will be undertaken in accordance with appropriate guidance and the
         Enforcement Policy detailed in Section 12. The need for formal enforcement may be
         bought about by various factors such as the severity of a problem, imminent risk, previous
         history, confidence in a landlord, public interest etc.




7.       THE GRANT/LOAN APPLICATION PROCESS AND HOW TO ACCESS IT

         The Council‟s policy on assistance takes into account the responsibility of owners to
         maintain their own properties but also considers their ability to do so and the vulnerability
         of different groups. It also takes into account other criteria in determining eligibility and
         terms and conditions. Those who qualify for assistance will be given every opportunity to
         access the process through full dissemination of information at council points of contact
         and those of partner organisations.

         A summary of policy will be provided at such outlets and electronically on the Council‟s
         website where customers will be able to register an initial enquiry on line. A copy of the
         Council‟s Private Sector Housing Renewal Policy will be offered to all potentially
         interested organisations, eg Help the Aged and Age Concern etc.




                                                   14
Initial access to the process can therefore be via existing points of contact within the
Council, its partner organisations or other interested parties or by written or electronic
enquiry.

The first stage of the process will commence when a potential applicant makes initial
contact and enquiries as to possible assistance.

Where they are interested in a disabled facility grants they will be directed to the
Occupational Therapy Service who will in priority order assess their needs. Referral made
to the Authority by the Occupational Therapist will result in the preparation of a schedule
of works by the Authority and trigger the second stage of the process.

Where a potential applicant is interested in Home Repair Assistance or Minor Works
Grant their eligibility will be assessed. Applicants living in homes with Category 1 Hazards
will take priority over those in non-Decent homes and those applying for Minor Works
Grants which are administered in the same period of time.

The second stage of the application process will be the completion of the formal
application pack including appropriate certificates and agreement with terms and
conditions etc as well as the required number of estimates/quotes. When a complete
application is received the Council may approve a grant/loan based on the lowest
estimate of two (or more if required) or a single estimate (or more if required) where cost
of works is £1 000 or less.

The level of any grant approved may be;

1. The total cost of agreed works

or

2. The total cost of agreed works less any means tested contribution payable by the
     applicant.

or

3. Where the applicant can raise some funding of their own the difference between the
     value of their own funding and the total cost of agreed works.

The applicant will be advised in writing whether the application has been approved or not.

The amount of information required of applicants will be commensurate with the likely
scale of works involved and as such applicants for Minor Works Grants will have a shorter




                                         15
      application process than if applying for a Home Repair Assistance Grant. All applicants for
      the same classification of grant will use the same standard form.

8.    GRANT/LOAN DETAILS

8.1   Mandatory Disabled Facilities Grants

      The Council will award mandatory disabled facilities grants according to the governing
      legislation and guidance issued by central government which determines, amongst other
      things, the type of work that can be funded, the maximum contribution that may be made,
      and the test of financial resources that must be made. The purpose for which such grants
      are given and eligible works are detailed within the Housing Grants, Construction and
      Regeneration Act 1996 and the good practice guide “Delivering Housing Adaptations for
      Disabled People”

8.2   Discretionary Disabled Facilities Grants

      The Council may consider applications for discretionary disabled facilities grants, (up to a
      maximum of £25,000), as well or instead of mandatory grants, subject to its own terms
      and conditions and the national means test of resources utilised for mandatory disabled
      facilities grants.

      Applications within this heading will be considered for works supported by an
      Occupational Therapist, which are not covered by a mandatory disabled facilities grant,
      e.g.

         The provision of a safe play area for a child with disabilities under the age of 11 at the
          time of application.

         Adapting or providing a room for the use of a housebound person with a disability for
          the purpose of working from home, exercising at home or receiving specialised care or
          medical treatment, (any of which on specialist advice is best delivered/provided at
          home).

         Assisting the person with a disability to move to a more suitable property where it is
          more cost effective than adapting the current home even though the new property may
          need some adaptation.

8.3   Discretionary Home Repair Assistance Grants


      The Council may consider applications for discretionary home repair assistance grants
      from owner-occupiers, subject to its own terms and conditions. There will be a pre-set
      maximum limit for assistance of £10,000; the Council will consider the cost of all proposed


                                               16
      work in light of eligibility of work and reasonableness of costed items on
      estimates/quotations. All enquiries will first be inspected by the council or its appointee to
      determine any qualifying works.

      All applicants will be required to submit a means tested application according to the
      national means test utilised for Mandatory Disabled Facilities Grants.

      The Council may waive the financial means testing of applicants for Discretionary Home
      Repair Assistance Grants/Loans in areas of renewal, group repair etc where one objective
      will be regeneration of the area which would otherwise be hampered by the potential
      pepper-potting effect caused by a means tested approach. The Council may instigate
      schemes whereby a set or variable percentage grant/loan is available for agreed works
      purely due to the location of a property without any recourse to means testing of owners
      or tenants. The use of such an approach will require the authorisation of Full Council and
      will be considered an exceptional approach to Discretionary Home Repair Assistance
      Grants/Loans.

      The provision of any Home Repair Assistance grant over £1 000 will be subject to a 30-
      year certificate of occupancy from the applicant. In the event of the property being sold
      within this 30-year period, for whatever reason, the value of the grant paid shall be
      repayable in full, but with no interest accruing. Applicants will be required to consent to
      the Council registering a restriction against the property with the land registry to the value
      of the grant, the cost of doing so being considered as part of the grant.

      Applications within this heading will be considered for the following outcomes:

         To remedy category 1 hazards and leave the property such that no further category 1
          hazard is likely to arise within the following 5 year period.

         Improving a house occupied by a vulnerable household to the Decent Homes
          Standard.


8.4   Discretionary Minor Works Grants


      The Council may consider applications for discretionary Minor Works Grants from owner-
      occupiers and, for limited categories of work, tenants (with written permission from their
      landlord), subject to its own terms and conditions.

      There will be a pre-set maximum limit for assistance of £3 500, the Council will consider
      the cost of all proposed work in light of eligibility of work and reasonableness of costed
      items on estimates/quotations. All enquiries will first be inspected by the council or its
      appointee to identify any qualifying works.


                                                17
All applicants will be asked to declare any existing means tested benefits received and
those receiving any of the benefits detailed on the separate information sheet will qualify
for Minor Works Grant assistance subject to qualifying works and the appropriate terms
and conditions.

In cases of applications for assistance for energy efficiency matters under item 6 below
(excluding cavity wall insulation, repair or replacement of a central heating boiler and first
time provision of central heating) from owner occupiers over 65 years of age there shall
be no need to receive specified means tested benefits in order to qualify.

Applications within this heading will be considered for the following outcomes, although
this is not to be considered a definitive list. The Head of Service has the discretion to
include additional work/outcomes providing that such items follow the spirit of the purpose
of Minor Works Grants:

1. To remedy category 2 hazards where they are likely to deteriorate to a category 1
   hazard within the following 5-year period.

2. To remedy category 1 hazards where the cost of doing so will fall within the limits for
   Minor Works Grants.

3. To repair a stairlift, through floor lift or hoist, previously provided by means of
   mandatory-disabled      facilities   grant,   which   is   no   longer   covered     by   its
   warranty/maintenance agreement and is still providing benefit to the original applicant.

4. To top up Warm Front Grants. The provision of Minor Works grant assistance for this
   purpose is not dependent on receipt of any of the benefits detailed on the separate
   information sheet and may be dealt with outside the normal chronological order to
   ensure the Warm Front contribution.

5. Improving a house occupied by a vulnerable household to the Decent Homes
   Standard.

6. To improve energy efficiency; loft insulation (upto 270mm); tank, pipe and cylinder
   insulation; cavity wall insulation; draught proofing of windows and external doors;
   repair/replacement of broken central heating boilers and provision of central heating
   for the first time, (all where no other source of funding available, e.g. Warm Front).


7. Additional energy efficiency measures such as internal application of “Sempatap” (or
   similar approved) thermal insulation lining to external walls of houses with solid
   concrete or brick elevations. In cases of such works being carried out no allowance




                                          18
           will be made for any decoration costs. This work will attract assistance from April
           2008, or earlier should financial circumstances allow.


       8. To make homes weatherproof by securing the basic fabric, to include pointing,
           brickwork, rainwater goods, roof coverings, rendering, windows and doors, (excluding
           outbuildings, lean to‟s, conservatories and sheds etc).


       9. To make minor adaptations to houses to enable those aged over 60, the infirm or
           persons with disabilities to; stay living in their own home, return to their own home
           from hospital or to live in the home of a relative.


       10. To improve home security in line with accepted recommendations from a crime
           prevention officer or in the absence of such report to upgrade external door locks to 5
           lever mortise locks, provide a door security chain, provide window locks for all ground
           floor large opening casements etc and replace non safety glazing or thin boarding to
           lower halves of external doors and adjacent panels with 12.5mm plyboard.


      Tenants, with the written agreement of their landlords, may apply for assistance for
      categories 3, 4, 6 (excluding cavity wall insulation, repair or replacement of central heating
      boilers and first time provision of central heating), 9 and 10 as detailed under 8.4 above.


8.5   Discretionary Landlord Grants
      There will be no landlord grants available under the terms of this policy although attention is
      drawn towards the opportunity for tenants to apply for Minor Works Grants in 8.4 and for
      Long Term Empty Property Grants in 8.6 below.

8.6   Discretionary Long Term Empty Property Grants

      The Council may consider applications from owners of long term problematic empty
      properties for 50% grants (without being subject to means testing), subject to finances
      permitting and at the discretion of the Head of Service, in order to renovate such properties
      to the Decent Home standard and bring them back into use. It will be a requirement of such
      grants that a certificate of letting is completed that will apply for a five-year period after
      completion.

      There will be a pre-set maximum limit for grant assistance of £10 000, (50% of £20 000),
      the Council will consider the cost of all proposed work in light of eligibility of work and
      reasonableness of costed items on estimates/quotations.            All enquiries will first be
      inspected by the council or its appointee to identify any qualifying works.




                                                 19
8.7       Other Forms of Assistance

          Loans and equity release products are currently under consideration as part of a
          consortium approach over the County area and may be introduced as part of the next
          review of this policy.




9.    PRIORITISATION OF GRANT / LOAN APPLICATIONS


      The Authority will administer any Disabled Facility Grants, Home Repair Assistance Grants,
      Long Term Empty Property Grants, Minor Works Grants or loans to applicants in order of date
      that their applications are deemed complete, (excepting minor works grants to top up warm
      front assistance and long term empty property grants which may be administered out of normal
      chronological order).




10. TERMS AND CONDITIONS


      These terms and conditions form part of the Councils Private Sector Housing Renewal Policy
      and will be applicable to all elements of it, except where otherwise stated. The terms and
      conditions applicable to Mandatory Disabled Facilities Grants are set by statute determined by
      central government and followed by local authorities. Therefore, these terms and conditions
      are not applicable to Mandatory Disabled Facilities Grants although some may be the same as
      those which are applicable to such grants, details of which are separately available.

      The terms, conditions and eligibility criteria for discretionary grants detailed within this policy
      will be set down in writing for all grant applicants.

10.1.     In making an application for assistance, when applicants sign the application form they are
          agreeing to all the terms and conditions as detailed by the Council.

10.2.     Information provided to the Council by applicants, as part of the application process will
          be checked thoroughly and may be shared with other departments of the Council and
          other organisations involved in any aspect of handling public funds to prevent and detect
          fraud or in investigation of other possible criminal activities.

10.3.     Applications or enquiries will only be accepted on the prescribed forms of the Council.

10.4.     Applicants must be 18 years of age or older at the date of application and in the case of
          joint applications one must be over 18 at the date of application.




                                                      20
10.5.   Applicants for grant assistance will be required to complete details of financial
        circumstances on a form provided by the Council requiring answers to pre-set questions.
        In completing this form applicants will be required to sign a declaration as to the accuracy
        of information provided and that of supporting paperwork, e.g. wage slips and accounts
        etc. The Council will routinely carry out cross checks on information provided, item 10.2
        above will apply to all such information.

10.6.   No application shall be accepted for a discretionary home repair assistance or minor works
        grant for a property that is, by construction or conversion, less than ten years old.

10.7.   No application will be accepted for works required to reinstate any dwelling designated
        as defective under Section 528 or 559 of the Housing Act 1985, although applications for
        other types of work to defective dwellings will be considered, e.g. for a disabled facilities
        grant.

10.8.   Where enquiries are made about grant assistance for works relating to the fixed electrical
        or gas installation or structural elements it will be the responsibility of the applicant to
        provide necessary certificates/reports from a qualified person to prove defects in advance
        of any grant approval, except as follows;

        Where the applicant is in receipt of a qualifying benefit for a Minor Works Grant and the
        property concerned is over 40 years old and/or an initial inspection by a Council officer
        reveals potential problems relating to electric‟s, gas or structural elements where no
        buildings insurance is in place, a grant may be approved for the cost of the appropriate
        survey and report. Where the report reveals defects that attract grant assistance under
        this policy, e.g. Code 1 and 2 works from a periodic electrical inspection report, then a re-
        approval of grant may be made (in accordance with item 10.20 in the Terms and
        Conditions) to cover the cost of unforeseen work.

        In the case of applicants not in receipt of qualifying benefits for Minor Works Grants the
        cost of providing such certification/report shall be included in any grant calculation.
        However, where no grant is approved these costs will not be reimbursed.

        It is required that anyone enquiring about grant assistance relating to structural elements
        will have first approached their building insurers and have written evidence of the insurers
        refusal to remedy the problem.

        (As amended March 07)

10.9.   All applications for assistance must be accompanied by an owner/occupation certificate
        or a certificate of intended letting, which state the applicant has or proposes to acquire a




                                                    21
         qualifying interest in the property or will keep it available for letting. In addition the following
         separate requirements for the different certificates apply:

              Owner Occupation Certificate:     that throughout a period of 5 years from the
               completion date she/he or a member of the family intends to live in the dwelling as their
               only or main residence.

              In the case of Home Repair Assistance and Minor Works grants in excess of £1 000 the
               certificate shall confirm that if the property is sold, for whatever reason, within 30 years
               of completion of works the entire grant value shall be repaid to the Council. This
               condition does not apply to tenant grants, see 10.31 for repayment conditions re tenant
               applications.

              Intended Letting Certificate: that throughout a period of 5 years from the completion
               date the property will be let or available for letting as a residence, not a holiday home,
               to a person/s not related or connected with the owner of the dwelling for which
               assistance is being received.

         Proof of title shall also be required to enable property ownership to be confirmed, and
         consent of any mortgagee will be needed.

10.10.       Applicants for Home Repair Assistance or Minor Works Grants/loans must have been
         owners or qualifying tenants of the property concerned for a period of 3 years prior to the
         date of application, except for works to properties that have been empty for six months or
         more. This condition does not apply to tenant grants.

10.11. It is the applicant who employs the contractor to undertake agreed works and the Council
         has no contractual liabilities in that relationship as their role is only to administer the
         grant/loan process.

10.12. The applicant is ultimately responsible for ensuring the quality of the completed works;
         responsibility can be passed on to an agent of the applicant, e.g. an architect or a Home
         Improvement Agency.

10.13. If an applicant submits an estimate/quote from a member of their family who then
         carries out the agreed works the grant/loan will only be paid on the basis of the cost of
         materials and not labour.

10.14. Upon conclusion of Home Repair Assistance Grants/loans it will be expected that the
         property be left with no category 1 hazards and none likely to occur within a five year
         period, any exception to this will require the authority of the Principal Officer in charge of
         Private Sector Housing.



                                                     22
10.15. Where applications from tenants are accepted for Minor Works Grants/loans they must be
        from qualifying tenants who according to the terms of their lease are responsible for the
        work for which assistance is being sought, except where this policy allows otherwise.

10.16. Applications initiated by a qualifying tenant must be accompanied by a tenants certificate
        stating that the applicant is a qualifying tenant of the dwelling and that she/he or a member
        of the family intends to live in the dwelling as their only or main residence. A tenants
        application must also be supported by the landlords completion of a Certificate of
        Intended Letting unless such is not forthcoming and the works are required to remove
        risk to the tenants health and/or safety. In all other circumstances work to a property will
        require the owner‟s written authority and that of the mortgagee.

10.17. An application for a disabled facilities grant will only be considered complete and then
        processed when it is accompanied by an Occupational Therapists report recommending
        the necessary works, it would be normal and beneficial for such a report to be provided at
        the commencement of the enquiry/application process.

10.18. An application for assistance towards works that have already been completed will not
        be processed. Any part of works not commenced, which would otherwise have been
        considered for assistance will be processed for possible grant/loan assistance as long as
        work is not commenced prior to formal approval.

10.19. The details of means testing referred to in individual grant/loan applications shall apply to
        all relevant applications made accompanied by an owner-occupier‟s certificate, by tenants
        and any for disabled facilities grants.

10.20. The amount of grant/loan payable shall be the actual cost of undertaking the works, plus
        any associated fees, less any owner‟s etc contribution, upto the total value of the
        grant/loan approved, subject to any maximum levels.          Additional funding will only be
        provided above the original approval level in the event of unforeseen work being needed to
        allow completion of eligible works or associated works of a nature to protect the health and
        safety of occupiers. A formal re-approval to a higher level of assistance will be required
        before any payment above the originally approved level is paid.

10.21. All payments shall be conditional upon receipt of an acceptable invoice and made direct to
        the appropriate contractor following agreement with the applicant that works to the
        appropriate stage have been satisfactorily completed. In a situation of dispute between
        the applicant and contractor, which is not resolved in a reasonable time period the
        grant/loan or part thereof, may be paid to the applicant at the discretion of the Council.

10.22. The Council will include the cost of preliminary or ancillary services, fees and charges
        within the calculation of assistance, each submission of fees will be individually considered


                                                  23
       for reasonableness. The payment of any such fees is conditional on a grant/loan being
       approved and the completion of all specified works, otherwise the Council will not be held
       responsible for any fees incurred before or after approval.

10.23. The Council will consider requests for interim payments such that no interim payment will
       be for more then 90% of the cost of completed work and in aggregate no more than 90%
       of the total approved amount before final completion.

10.24. The Council will determine on each approval document the time period allowed for
       works to be completed, which will not normally exceed 12 months and may be significantly
       shorter for small items of work. The time period may be extended at the discretion of the
       Principal Officer responsible for private sector housing.

10.25. The grant works must be carried out by one of the contractors whose estimates/quotes
       were submitted as part of the application process, the grant having been calculated using
       the lowest priced estimate/quote.

10.26. The number of estimates/quotes accompanying an application for assistance for works
       costing in excess of £1,000 shall be at least two whilst at or below £1,000 at least one
       estimate/quote shall be provided.       The Council reserve the right to ask for more
       estimates/quotes if they are not happy with those submitted or to accept a single quote
       where two would normally be required for work from specialist contractors.

10.27. Where an applicants circumstances change or are confirmed as different from originally
       stated, after approval is issued, such that approval would no longer be given, then the
       grant approval will be cancelled and no payments made, or no further payments made
       where interim payments have already been paid, except in exceptional circumstances
       when the Head of Service may give authority to provide further funding so as to conclude
       work at a suitable and appropriate stage. Where payments have been made, the local
       authority may demand repayment together with compound interest from the date on which
       payment was made until repayment, at such reasonable rate as the Council may
       determine.

10.28. In any case where financial circumstances at the time of application are later confirmed
       differently to those submitted by the applicant/s, such that after approval a new processing
       of information would lead to reduced assistance or denial of assistance then the original
       approval will be amended/cancelled and the local authority may demand repayment
       together with compound interest from the date on which payment was made until
       repayment, at such reasonable rate as the Council may determine to recover any over
       payment.     In such circumstances the local authority may choose to cancel the whole
       approval or demand repayment of all monies paid, plus compound interest, despite the fact



                                                24
       that a reduced level of assistance would have been approved, where it is felt the degree of
       error in the applicant completing the original means test forms is such to suggest a
       deliberate attempt to deceive.

10.29. In certain circumstances where the Council believes that actions of applicants may have
       been taken to deliberately defraud the Council a file will be passed to the Police for
       investigation.

10.30. In the case of assistance for works to common parts an individual applicant may be
       assisted with the proportion of the cost for which they are responsible, eg where there are
       4 residents each will be considered responsible for one quarter of the common parts
       unless evidence to the contrary, e.g. deeds or tenancy agreements etc, prove otherwise.

10.31. In the case of any discretionary Disabled Facilities Grants, Minor Works Grants in excess
       of £1 000 for tenants or Long Term Empty Property Grants, for which part or complete
       payment has been made, where the applicant/landlord disposes of the property, or
       ceases to make it available for letting as the case may be, before the conclusion of a 5
       year period following the date of final payment, then she/he shall repay to the Council on
       demand the amount of assistance that has been paid or such part thereof as detailed,
       (landlords being responsible for repayment where they are in contravention of the
       certificate of letting):

                                  0–3    years after final payment- 100%
                                  3–4    years after final payment- 75%
                                  4–5    years after final payment- 50%

       In cases where a property is disposed of within the 5 year period and recipients wish to
       make representations as to why assistance should not be repaid they will be considered by
       the Principal Officer in Charge of Private Sector Housing, who will determine whether to
       waive repayment or not.          In considering such representations regard will be made to
       Appendix 2.

10.32. In the case of any Home Repair Assistance Grant or Minor Works Grant in excess of
       £1 000 for which part or complete payment has been made, where the applicant disposes
       of the property (for whatever reason) before the conclusion of a 30 year period following
       the date of final payment, then she/he shall repay to the Council on demand the amount of
       assistance that has been paid, without the addition of any interest charges, in respect of
       any grant in excess of £1000, (not applicable to tenant applications).

10.33. In respect of any grant in excess of £1000, applicants for Home Repair Assistance/Minor
       Works grants will be required to consent to the Council registering a restriction against




                                                   25
        their property with the land registry to the value of the grant, the cost of doing so being
        part of the grant, (not applicable to tenant applications).

10.34. If in any position whereby repayment of grant/loan is required the applicant fails to make
        the necessary arrangements the Council will place a charge on the property, which will
        incur compound interest at a reasonable rate as determined by the Council.

10.35. In the 5 or 30 year period, as appropriate, following final payment of grant monies the
        applicant shall upon written request from the Council, reply in writing, within 21 days of the
        date of the request stating how she/he is complying with any of the terms and
        conditions of the grant/loan enquired about.

       Failure to comply with this item will be deemed a failure of grant conditions requiring total
       repayment of grant, plus compound interest at a reasonable rate determined by the
       Council.

10.36. The conditions relating to repayment of grant apply equally to whichever certificate was
        signed for a 5 or 30 year period from the date of final payment of grant/loan.

10.37. In the event of a recipient of assistance pursuing a successful insurance claim, action for
        legal damages etc which covers the cost of works for which grant/loan was previously paid
        the applicant will on demand repay the total value of grant paid relating to such works or
        the value of the insurance payment/legal damages if lower.

10.38. The Council will not undertake works on behalf of applicants, except where works may
        be due in default of an owner‟s, tenants etc failure to comply with a statutory notice.

10.39. The Council or their agents will hold final authority to determine what works are included
        on grant schedules although it is acceptable for owners, tenants or their agents etc to
        draw up initial schedules of work which may be reduced or added to by the Council in
        terms of work qualifying for possible assistance.

10.40. The payment of any grant approved will only be considered after any applicant‟s
        contribution has been accounted for in the value of invoices submitted.

10.41. The responsibility to gain all necessary approvals for works to be undertaken with
        assistance rests with the applicant or their agent, such approvals may be Planning
        Permission or Building Regulation Approval or any of the matters raised within the terms
        and conditions of grant assistance.

10.42. Grant assistance will only be approved for the benefit of applicants who are able to provide
       evidence of a valid National Insurance Number.




                                                  26
10.43. The discretionary grants the Council awards are all subject to levels of available funding
        in each financial year and as such the Council reserves the right to defer approval, or even
        consideration, of applications for periods of time of its own choosing in order to properly
        manage its budgets.

10.44. In considering applications for the benefit of people with disabilities the Council may
        choose not to grant aid adaptations for which County Council Social Services are
        responsible under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970.

10.45. The Council may specify in grant approvals involving the installation of specialised
        equipment for the benefit of people with disabilities that the equipment is to be returned
        to the Council if within 10 years it is no longer needed.          The grant recipient, or a
        representative, shall notify the Council as soon as the equipment is no longer needed and
        the Council or their agent may choose to remove it for re-use elsewhere, making good any
        damage caused by its removal.

       Where the original grant was approved with a contribution from the applicant then the
       percentage of that contribution as an element of the total value of the agreed works shall be
       calculated and that percentage of the second hand value of the specialised equipment paid
       to the original applicant or their agent.

10.46. The Council may refer enquiries for assistance to the externally managed Warm Front
        Scheme as appropriate, or to the Home Improvement Agency if appropriate.

10.47. The Council may from time to time utilise special funding from central government, or
        other sources, aimed at specific subjects to target issues of local and national concern in
        accordance with any special conditions, e.g. replacement of inefficient boilers. Any special
        terms and conditions applicable to such initiatives will be appended to the Private Sector
        Housing Renewal Policy, as they will not significantly alter the Council‟s primary approach
        to the subject.

10.48. In the event of loan provision the Council will not insist that applicants who are able to raise
        their own funding through equity release or similar schemes are required to raise funds in
        excess of the cost of agreed works, where they do not wish to do so, as a result of any
        minimum funding values imposed by potential lenders. In such cases applicants may be
        processed for Council loan assistance.

10.49. The Council may not consider applications from persons, organisations etc where there is
        a possible alternative source of funding for maintaining properties, e.g. the NHS.

10.50. In terms of repeat applications for grant assistance the following conditions apply:




                                                   27
                     Mandatory Disabled Facility Grants: No restrictions

                     Discretionary Disabled Facility Grants: No restriction on number of grants
                      but a maximum value of £25 000 in any ten-year period.

                     Home Repair Assistance Grant: No restriction on number of grants but a
                      maximum value of £10 000 in any ten-year period.

                     Minor Works Grant: No more than 2 applications to a total value of £5 000 in
                      any 5-year period with a minimum period of 12 months between completion
                      of one grant and approval for another.

                     Long Term Empty Property Grants: The Council may award such grants at
                      its discretion, however individual landlords/organisations will not be funded
                      for multiple applications.

10.51. In cases where an application is made for financial assistance towards work which is
       available through a subsidised scheme, e.g. “Chill Out”, via the council or another
       organisation it will be required that the applicant uses that scheme in order that grant
       resources are best utilised. Failure to use a subsidised scheme when available will result
       in no grant assistance being paid.

10.52. The Council reserves the right to re-consider any individual application against any of
       these terms and conditions upon the authority of the Head of Service.




11.     APPEALS PROCESS FOR APPLICATIONS OUTSIDE POLICY

        The Council has a general duty to consider the condition of the private sector housing
        stock upon which the Private Sector Housing Renewal Policy is based. All initial enquiries
        for assistance about the condition of private sector housing will be considered. Where
        any enquiry falls outside the policy for assistance the Principal Officer in charge of Private
        Sector Housing will consider whether it warrants special attention outside of normal policy,
        in accordance with the appropriate scheme of delegation.

        In the event of the Principal Officer determining assistance is not warranted then this
        information will be conveyed in writing with the opportunity of appealing that decision to
        the Head of Service whose decision will be considered final in this field of discretionary
        grants.

        There is no appeal route against the outcome of „means testing‟ including the possibility of
        loans or equity release etc rather than, or as well as reduced, grant assistance.



                                                   28
12.     PRIVATE SECTOR HOUSING ENFORCEMENT POLICY

       The Environmental Health and Trading Standards Services in Northamptonshire operate to a set
       of comparable enforcement principles and individual service policies are encompassed by the
       following general principles: -

                     It is the aim of the service to promote and maintain an environment, which protects
                      the public‟s interest, safety and health.
                     The basic role of the service is in the area of regulatory control; we are responsible
                      for the enforcement of legislation.
                     However, we are involved in a wide range of other activities, which include the
                      provision of advice, information and education to members of the public and
                      businesses.
                     The purpose of enforcement action is to achieve compliance with legislation for
                      which this department has responsibility.

                     Depending on particular circumstances, we may take a number of different forms of
                      „enforcement action‟ to achieve compliance with the law which includes; verbal or
                      written advice, service of statutory notice(s), formal caution(s) and/or prosecution.

                  This document summarises the general enforcement policy of the service – it
                   describes, In broad terms, how we operate and what businesses may expect from
                   us.
            1. We direct our enforcement emphasis towards those matters, which present the greatest
               risk to public health or safety, or to the well being of the community. This involves
               inspections of premises, investigation of complaints/incidents, the inspection and
               sampling of goods etc.

            2. We respond to requests for information or assistance and to complaints alleging
               breaches of legislation.

            3. We provide advice and guidance to enable business to comply with the law, having
               regard to nationally agreed practices and procedures.

            4. We clearly differentiate between items, which are requirements to comply with
               „contraventions‟ of statutory provisions and items, which are „recommendations‟ and will
               lead to good practice in all verbal and written communications.

            5. We set and abide by policy guidelines to ensure that all aspects of our enforcement
               activities are carried out a uniform and consistent standard across the country.

            6. We maintain procedures for dealing with complaints about the services we provide and,
               where appropriate, for the right of appeal against decisions that we make.

            7. Finally, we welcome feedback on our enforcement policy. We try to incorporate
               comments, which assist us to meet the main aim of the service, into future revisions of
               the policy. However, we are unable to amend or repeal legislation, nor can we adopt a
               policy, which contravenes a statutory duty.



      GENERIC OPERATIONAL ENFORCEMENT GUIDELINES

      1.0   Introduction

            1.1       This Enforcement Policy has been generated through the County Environmental
                      Health/Trading Standards Focus Group for the benefit of its individual members.


                                                        29
1.2   The purpose of these guidelines is intended to act as a focus for all enforcement
      actions taken by its members with the primary objective of ensuring that a fair,
      reasonable and consistent approach to enforcement In accordance with relevant
      guidelines is achieved. Individual services may have more detail operational
      guidelines but these will be encompassed by the generic guidelines outlined in this
      document.

1.3   Environmental Health and Trading Standards Services within the Country will
      adhere to this policy unless exceptional local circumstances dictate they differ.

1.4   The term „enforcement action‟ can have a number of different forms, which include:
       Informal action ie, verbal or written advice or verbal warning
       Service of statutory notice(s) and written warnings
       Formal Cautions
       Prosecution

      However, these courses of action are not mutually exclusive and a single
      enforcement action could include a number of these outcomes.

1.5   In coming to any decision as to which is the appropriate form of enforcement action,
      regard shall be had to this policy document and in particular, the following criteria:-

         The nature of the alleged offence
         The seriousness of the alleged offence
         The circumstances and previous history of the alleged offender
         Confidence in management
         The consequences of non-compliance
         The likely effectiveness of various enforcement options
         The risk to public health
         The view of the home/lead authority for the business, where appropriate.

1.6   The policy will be reviewed at regular intervals and amendments which reflect
      legislative changes, operational developments or other matters will be referred to
      the County Environmental Health/Trading Standard Focus Group for approval.


2.0   Informal Action

2.1   Informal action includes offering advice, verbal warnings or written requests for
      action in the form of a letter or schedule generated as a consequence of an
      inspection, investigation or visit.
2.2   Informal action should be considered when;
              The act or omission is not serious enough to warrant formal action.
              The individual or company‟s past history suggests that informal action
                 will achieve compliance.
              Confidence in management‟s/owners‟ ability to correct a defect is high.
              Standards are generally good suggesting a high level of awareness of
                 statutory responsibilities.
              The consequences of non-compliance do not present a significant risk.

2.3   Any informal action (including verbal advice) should clearly differentiate between
      items, which are requirements to comply with “contraventions” of statutory provision
      (which will be specified) and items, which are “recommendations” and will lead to
      good practice.
2.4   Persons in receipt of an informal notice (verbal or written) will be given every
      opportunity to discuss the requirements with the inspecting officer and agree an
      appropriate programme of action.



                                        30
3.0   Statutory Notices

3.1   These are not available under the provisions of all legislation but where they are
      regard should be had to this policy.
3.2   Notices must only be served where there is proof (acceptable as evidence in a court
      of law) that an offence has been committed.
3.3   The service of a statutory notice may be appropriate in any of the following
      circumstances or combination thereof;

                 there are significant contravention's of legislation
                 where individuals or companies are reluctant to take action to comply
                  with legislation
              there is a lack of confidence in the successful outcome of an informal
                  approach
              where immediate action needs to be taken in the public interest or for
                  public safety (“Prohibition” type notices)
              standards are generally poor with little management awareness of
                  statutory requirements
              the consequence of non-compliance could be potentially serious
              instances where there are multiple breaches of legislation at one time
              instances where an informal warning has been previously given but no
                  remedial action has been taken.
3.4   Certain Notices can only be signed by the officer witnessing a contravention
      therefore, if necessary, the authorised officer will have to confirm earlier decisions of
      technical support staff.

3.5   The limits specified in notices must be realistic and where possible all requirements
      of the notice should be agreed in advance. If agreement cannot be reached, the
      officer must give due consideration to the likely cost of works, extent of works,
      availability of equipment and/or expertise required in order to ensure a realistic
      timescale is set.

3.6   All statutory notices served must set out rights of appeal and clearly state that
      failure to comply will result in court proceedings.


4.0   Formal Cautions

4.1   The „Formal Caution‟ may be used as an alternative to prosecution and must only
      be considered in cases where the evidential criteria for prosecutions are satisfied.


4.2   Home Office Circular 18/1994 states that the purpose of a Formal Caution is:

      i.     to deal quickly and simply with less serious offences.
      ii.    to diver less serious offences away from the courts
      iii.   to reduce the chances of repeat offences.

4.3   The Formal Caution may used in place of court proceedings when:

      i.     the interests of justice will not be served by court action.
      ii.    for offences of a minor nature not actioned following service of a statutory
             notice and where there is no risk to public health or to the environment
      iii.   a “technical” offence has been committed and there is a need for the offence
             to be formally recorded.

4.4   To safeguard the suspected offender‟s interests, the following conditions must be
      fulfilled;

                                         31
              i.      there is sufficient evidence to secure a conviction
              ii.     the suspected offender must admit the offence
              iii.    the suspected offender must understand the significance of a formal caution
                      and agree to being cautioned

       4.5    In the event of a Formal Caution not being accepted, alternative action will be
              considered. This is likely to mean taking a prosecution for the alleged offence(s).

       4.6    The Office of Fair Trading, home or originating authority are to be advised of any
              Formal Caution issued by the council.

       4.7    Any Formal Caution issued by the council under the above must not be cited in
              relation to any offence committed more than three years after the caution is issued.


5.0    Prosecution

5.1    Prosecutions will, in general, be restricted to the more serious incidents where there has
       been a disregard for the law, a failure to achieve basic requirements or where the public or
       the environment are put at risk.

5.2    Circumstances which warrant prosecution will normally be characterised by one or more of
       the following:

       i.     where the alleged offence involves a breach of the law such that public or          the
              environment are put at risk.
       ii.    where the alleged offence involves a failure to correct an identified and serious risk
              and the offence has been given reasonable opportunity to comply
       iii.   where the offence involves a failure to comply in full or in part with the requirements
              of a statutory notice or other warning or advice
       iv.    where there is a history of similar infringements
       v.     cases where Formal Cautions have been offered but refused or where a previous
              Formal Caution has been given for a similar offence.

5.3    When circumstances have been identified which may warrant a prosecution all relevant
       evidence and information (including relevant codes of practice, guidance notes and
       circulars) will be considered to ensure a consistent fair and objective decision is made.

5.4    Before a prosecution proceeds, there must be relevant, substantial and reliable evidence
       that an offence has been committed by an identifiable person or company. Full regard
       must be given to the availability of statutory defences eg, “due diligence”/”best practical
       means” and, there must be a realistic prospect of conviction, a bare prima facie case is
       insufficient. (Legal counsel will be consulted as necessary).

5.5    Once the decision to prosecute has been made, legal proceedings should be instituted
       without undue delay.

N.B.   The Council may utilise its powers under relevant legislation to make a financial charge for
       undertaking its enforcement responsibilities.


6.0    Documents Consulted

       i.     Home Office Circular 18/94 – The Cautioning of Offenders
       ii.    The Code for Crown Prosecutors, 1994
       iii.   The Food Safety Act 1990 – Code of Practice No 2: Legal Matters
       iv.    LACOTS – Guidance on Food Safety Enforcement Policies, 1994
       v.     HELA 22/1 – Choice of appropriate Enforcement Procedure

                                                32
13.         Complaints Policy

Introduction

We hope that the services you receive from us are of the quality you need and expect. However, we know that there
may be times when you are unhappy with the service you receive and wish to lodge a formal complaint. You may want
to suggest a way to improve services, make a comment on the services you receive, or compliment the Council on the
service you have received.

The people who can best deal with most concerns are those who provide the service. We can normally sort out mistakes
and misunderstandings quickly. However, if we cannot sort out your problem this way, the complaint procedure is here
to help you. Your complaints are important to us. They help us to:

            Put things right if they go wrong
            Listen and learn; and
            Change and improve the way we provide services.

So don’t be worried about telling us your concerns. Comments and compliments are also welcomed as they help us to
improve our service and let us know when we are doing things right.




      What is a complaint?
      A complaint can be defined as any expression of dissatisfaction regarding a service provided by, or on
      behalf of, the council. A complaint does not include:

            First requests for a service or first reports of faults;

            Requests for information on, or a clearer explanation of our policies;

            Matters for which there is a right of appeal with the Council, or a legal solution.




      Who can complain, comment or compliment?
      Anyone who feels they have had a poor service from us, or from someone providing the service for us, and have
      tried to get the problem solved by speaking to someone in the relevant department, Councillor etc.




      How to complain?
      If you do choose to make a complaint the Council guarantees:

            Every effort and action is made to resolve the complaint;

            An apology if a service performed was not up to standard

            A full written response.




                                                              33
Ways to contact the Council?
We want to make it as easy for you as possible to let us know if you feel that something has gone wrong. If you
want to make a complaint you can contact the Council in several ways:

            In person

            By letter

            By e-mail on comments@corby.gov.uk

            By typetalk 18001 – 01536 402551

            By internet www.corby.gov.uk

            On the Councils Complaint Form, or Comments and Compliments Form, examples follow.

            Through someone else, a Councillor, solicitor, friend or relative.



The Council can also accept complaints made anonymously and can still investigate the matter even though it
cannot respond to the complaint.




What will happen when I make a complaint? – The Complaints Procedure



We have a simple three-stage procedure for complaints, including:
                                                   st
                                              1 Stage
 When your complaint is received by the Council, the nature and type of the complaint will be
 assessed by one of our nominated complaints Officers.
 The complaint will be recorded and given a unique complaint number (which will be used until
 the complaint is resolved.) This will help us track the progress of your complaint and assist
 you, if for some reason you need to contact the Council again.
 The nominated complaints Officer will then make any investigations and enquiries necessary
 to resolve your complaint, and respond in writing to your complaint.
                                                   nd
                                               2 Stage
 If you are not happy with the outcome of your complaint, if you have a further complaint, or
 the complaint is of a more complex nature, for example regarding the conduct of an individual
 employee, further investigation will be required.
 You will be sent an acknowledgement letter within 5 working days whilst the matter is being
 investigated by the Chief Executive‟s Office.
                                                   rd
                                             3 Stage
 Once the Council has given its final response, and you are still not satisfied, the complaint can
 then be made to the Local Government Ombudsman (Forms available from: Local
 Government Ombudsman, The Oaks No 2, Westwood Way, Westwood Business Park,
 Coventry, CV4 8JB).




                                                   34
                      Complaints Handing - Types and Categories of Complaint


      The Council aims to deal with the complaints it receives in a fair honest and consistent manner. The table shows
      the method by which the Council deals with different types of complaints, and the maximum times for response
      to the different types of complaints.




        Type                    Nature                                             Action
                  Service Request                        Response within service target times
           1      First contact to Service Unit          If a complaint can be answered without further
                  regarding non performance of           investigation a reply should be received within 5 working
                  service                                days.
                                                         For complaints requiring further investigation a full reply
                                                         within 28 days. An acknowledgement letter within 5
                                                         working days.
           2      Complaint directly to the Chief        A full reply within 28 days. An acknowledgement letter
                  Executive‟s Office                     within 5 working days if further investigation is needed
                  Complaint regarding conduct of         A full reply within 28 days. An acknowledgement letter
                  employee                               within 5 working days if further investigation is needed
                  Complaint that Council policy or       A full reply within 28 days. An acknowledgement letter
                  procedure has not been                 within 5 working days if further investigation is needed
                  followed                               A full reply within 28 days. An acknowledgement letter
                  Complaint that relevant things         within 5 working days if further investigation is needed
                  have not been taken into
                  account                                A copy of the reply will be sent to both resident and third
                  Third Party complaint on behalf        party
                  of a third party
           3      Appeal                                 There is a right of appeal to the Local Government
                                                         Ombudsman if you are still not satisfied with the
                                                         Council‟s final response to a stage 2 complaint



      If you consider your complaint to be related to racial discrimination or related to your sexuality, please indicate
      this on the Council’s Complaint Form by ticking the appropriate box. Your complaint will then be investigated
      accordingly. Further guidance can be found in the Council’s Race Equality Scheme.



                                    Local Government Ombudsman
      The Local Government Ombudsman is an independent national service, which investigates complaints against
      Council’s. You can complain to the ombudsman at any time. You can contact the Local Government
      Ombudsman at:

      Local Government Ombudsman, The Oaks No 2, Westwood Way, Westwood Business Park, Coventry CV4 8JB.
                     Phone: 024 7682 0000. Fax: 024 7682 0001. Website: www.lgo.org.uk


                                          Comments and Compliments
Comments, compliments or suggestions about our services will be dealt with in a similar way. They will be
acknowledged within 5 working days, with any explanation necessary about why and how we perform our services, and
in some cases why we cannot.




                                                          35
                                  CORBY BOROUGH COUNCIL
                                     COMPLAINT FORM


                                INTRODUCTION
Use this form when you think:
 We have done something wrong;
 We have failed to do something;
 We have treated you unfairly or discourteously.

Please read the leaflet ‘How to complain’ before completing this form.

Your Contact Details:


Your Name:                                             Your Telephone Numbers:

……………………………………….                                       Home …………………………………
                                                       Work ………………………………….
                                                       Mobile ………………………………..
Your Address:

………………………………………                                        Your e-mail address:
………………………………………
………………………………………                                        …………………………………………
………………………………………
………………………………………
………………………………………

Post Code ……………………….

Which Service Area are you complaining about? (Please see the leaflet
„How to complain‟ for a summary of services provided by each area).



What is your complaint about? (Please continue on a separate sheet if
required).
……………………………………………………………………………………………
……………………………………………………………………………………………
……………………………………………………………………………………………
……………………………………………………………………………………………
……………………………………………………………………………………………
……………………………………………………………………………………………
……………………………………………………………………………………………
……………………………………………………………………………………………
……………………………………………………………………………………………
……………………………………………………………………………………………
……………………………………………………………………………………………


                                                         36
       If you consider your complaint to be related to Racial Discrimination please tick this box.




When and how did you first tell the Council about this complaint?

Date ………………………..

 How ?

       Visiting the                        By                         This is the
          offices                                                           T                                  f
                                                                            e                                  i
                                                                            l                                  r
Other (please State).                                                       e                                  s
………………………………………………                                                          p                                  t
………………………………………………                                           Have you contacted the Council about
                                                                            h
………………………………………………                                           this Complainto  since then?                      t
                                                                            n                                  i
Name of Officers involved (if known)                                        e                                  m
………………………………………………                                            Yes                  No                          e
………………………………………………
………………………………………………                                                                                             I
….
                                                                                                               h
What do you think that the Council should do to solve your complaint? a
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………                              v
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………                              e
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………                              c
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………                              o
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………                              m
                                                                                                                p
                                                                                                                l
If you have any documents to support your complaint please enclose these. Please tick the box if you would like them
                                                                                                                a
returned.
                                                                                                                i
                                                                                                                n
                                                                                                                e
                                                                                                                d
 To be signed by the person making the complaint

 Signed                                                         Date

 ………………………………………                                                ………………………………………




   PLEASE FOLD AND RETURN THIS FORM AS DIRECTED TO THE
 NOMINATED OFFICER FOR YOUR COMPLAINT AREA (SEE „HOW TO
COMPLAIN‟), CORBY BOROUGH COUNCIL, FREEPOST, CORBY, NN17
              1BR (YOU DO NOT NEED A STAMP)




                                                                  37
                        CORBY BOROUGH COUNCIL

                               COMMENTS AND
                             COMPLIMENTS FORM

       Use this form if you have a comment or compliment to make
        about Corby Borough Council and the services it provides
                         please complete this form


      Name                              Your Telephone Numbers:

……………………………………                          Home …………………………………
       …..                              Work ………………………………….
Address
                                        Mobile ………………………………..
………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………
                                        Your e-mail address
………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………
                                        …………………………………………
………………………………………………………

Post Code ………………………………………
Comment or Compliment (Please continue on a separate sheet if required)

…………………………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………………………


PLEASE RETURN THIS FORM TO CORBY BOROUGH COUNCIL, ONE STOP SHOP,
        GROSVENOR HOUSE, GEORGE STREET, CORBY, NN17 1QB


                                        38
14.   DEFINITIONS WITHIN THIS POLICY


       “Administration Charge”     Will be imposed by the Council to cover the cost (plus VAT)
                                   of its officers organising works in default of an owner, eg after
                                   a statutory notice has not been complied with or when a
                                   responsible person requests the Council to organise works.
       “Agreed Works”              are those works appearing on a schedule produced or
                                   authorised by the Council
       “Category 1 and 2           Derived from an evaluation of the likelihood of an occurrence
       Hazards”                    and of the probable spread of harms that could result as
                                   identified through an inspection of a property using the
                                   Housing Health and Safety Rating System. Category 1
                                   hazards require action by a local authority whilst there is
                                   discretion in dealing with category 2 hazards.
       “Charge on a Property”      is where the local authority legally places a debt on the
                                   record of a house and recovers the debt, plus interest, upon
                                   its sale if not settled beforehand.
       “Common Parts”              in relation to a building, includes the structure and exterior of
                                   the building and common facilities provided, whether in the
                                   building or elsewhere, for persons who include the occupiers
                                   of one or more flats in the building.
       “Consent of Mortgagee”      is given by the building society, bank etc with whom the
                                   applicant has their mortgage in the case of freeholders and
                                   leaseholders.
       “Conversion Application”    means an application in respect of works to provide one or
                                   more dwellings by the conversion of a house or other
                                   building, or for the provision of a House in Multiple
                                   Occupation by the conversion of a house or other building.
       “Date of final payment of   is the date of the final cheque from the Council which
        grant/loan monies”         completes payment of the grant/loan assistance
                                   see person with disability
       “Disabled Person”

       “Elderly Person”            60 years of age and over
       “Equity Release”            is a means by which elderly persons can raise money against
                                   the value of their home where the difference between any
                                   outstanding mortgage/loan and its current market value is
                                   significant, also applicable where there is no outstanding
                                   mortgage/loan. The method of repayment can vary but
                                   generally the value of the loan, with or without interest, is
                                   repaid upon sale of the property.
       “Household Income”          means the amount of money the financial markets will
                                   consider available from a household to fund a loan, but will
                                   not include income from children etc residing in the home,
                                   but purely from owner/s and any spouse or partner living in
                                   the property.
       “House in Multiple          and references to the owner of or person managing such a
        Occupation”                house shall have the same meaning as in Part XI of the
                                   Housing Act 1985 or any successor statutory definition.
       “Mandatory Disabled         is defined as per in the Housing Grants Construction and
        Facilities Grant”          Regeneration Act 1996, as amended, or as in any successor
                                   statutory definition.


                                              39
“Means Tested Benefits”     is any income based benefit received by an applicant, as
                            defined and listed in a separate information sheet.
“Member of the family”      includes spouses, persons who live together as husband and
                            wife, parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren,
                            brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, nephews and nieces.
“Person with a              she/he is registered as a person with a disability or, in the
disability/people with      opinion of the Social Services Authority is registerable as a
disabilities”               person with a disability. This definition recognises the fact
                            that the majority of people will not be on a register.
“Persons not related or     means not being a member of the owners family in
 connected with the owner   accordance with the definition of „Member of the family‟.
 of a dwelling”
“Preliminary or Ancillary   which may be included in a grant/loan application are:
 Services, Fees and
                             technical and structural surveys;
 Charges”
                             design and preparation of plans and drawings; and
                              preparation of schedules of works;
                             obtaining of estimates and valuations;
                             applications for building regulations approval and planning
                              permission;
                             supervision of works;
                             disconnection and reconnection of electricity, gas, water
                              and drainage utilities made necessary by the works (but
                              not charges arising out of non-payment of bills);
                             advice on contracts and on financing the cost of works.
                            Including such services       given   by   or   through    home
                            improvement agencies.
“Problematic Long Term      A house or flat etc that has been empty for at least six
 Empty Property”            months; has been subject to regular complaint (or it is
                            agreed) that its condition: a) prevents occupation, b) is
                            detrimental to the amenity of the neighbourhood or c)
                            encourages anti social behaviour.
“Proof of Title”            Is completed by a Solicitor or Building Society on an
                            applicants behalf in the case of freeholders or leaseholders
                            to confirm ownership.
“Qualifying Tenant”         means a tenant who within their tenancy agreement has the
                            responsibility to repair or maintain the element of a structure
                            for which they are seeking assistance.
“Reasonable Repair”         means the Council shall have due regard to the age and
                            character of a dwelling and the locality in which it is situated,
                            but not its state of internal decoration, when considerating its
                            condition.
“Register a Restriction     The property owner authorises a financial restriction, with the
 against a property”        Land Registry, against the property in favour of the council so
                            that if it is sold within a 30-year period the agreed amount is
                            paid to the council from the purchase price.
“Safe Home Income Plan      (SHIP) members are committed to providing opportunities for
 Scheme”                    older persons to generate cash from the value of their homes
                            and offer important guarantees:
                            1. That you have the right to remain in your home for life.
                            2. That you retain the right to move home if you want to.
                            3. No negative equity will be caused by a scheme.



                                       40
“Statutory Notice”        is a notice requiring owners/responsible persons to carry out
                          work or some other action with regard to their property. The
                          notice is served using the power of a national law and failure
                          to comply may result in prosecution through the courts or
                          works being carried out at the responsible persons expense.
“Substantial Disrepair”   means repairs to a single property, being required to put it in
                          reasonable repair which will cost over £1,000.
“Works in Default”        means works that the Council organise and possibly carry
                          out as a result of the recipient of a statutory notice failing to
                          comply with its requirements within a reasonable period of
                          time.
“Working Days”            means days excluding Saturday, Sundays and Bank
                          Holidays.




                                     41
Extract From Last Available Best Value Performance Plan



BVPI 62 - % of      0.85% 4.00%          1.60% Target 2003/2004 0.20%
unfit properties                               Target 2004/2005 2%
made fit/demolished                            Target 2005/2006 2%
due to action by LA                            Target 2006/2007 3%

BVPI 63 - Energy        48       63       49%    Target 2003/2004 49
efficiency - the av.                             Target 2004/2005 50
SAP rating of an LA                              Target 2005/2006 52
dwelling                                         Target 2006/2007 55

BVPI 64 - The no of     171      18        2     Target 2003/2004 160
private vacant                                   Target 2004/2005 10
dwellings occupied                               Target 2005/2006 12
or demolished as a                               Target 2006/2007 20
result of LA action




                                          42
                                                                                         APPENDIX 2



Selected Previous Information/Definitions from the Housing Grants, Construction and
Regeneration Act 1996 (as amended).

Relevant Disposals and conditions where it may be reasonable not to demand full or any
repayment of grant, and Exempt Disposals.

The „1996 Act‟ states (in part) that it is a condition of a grant that if an owner of the dwelling to
which the grant relates makes a „relevant disposal‟ (other than an „exempt disposal‟) of the dwelling
within the stated period beginning on the certified date (i.e. the date on which the grant aided
works were completed to the satisfaction of the local authority), he shall repay to the local authority
on demand the amount of the grant.

The local authority may determine not to demand repayment or to demand a lesser amount, where
they are satisfied that the disposal falls within one or more of the following cases and that it would
not be reasonable, in the circumstances of the case, to demand repayment of all or part of the
amount of grant: (NB: Numbering of points relates to original documentation)

7.    A disposal of premises where the disposal proceeds, less the amount of any expenses
      incurred by the relevant person in connection with the disposal and the amount of any
      advanced secured by a charge on the premises which has been repaid by the relevant
      person, are less than the amount of grant which a relevant person would be liable to repay.

10.   A disposal by a relevant person of premises where those premises were vested in that
      person as a person taking under a will or on an intestacy.

In any other case the authority will require the consent of the Secretary of State not to demand a
repayment and it is expected that consent will only be given sparingly.

A „relevant person‟ in relation to a disposal means a person who would be liable to repay the
amount of grant that has been paid, and includes any other person who normally resides, or who
might reasonably be expected to reside with him.

The expressions “relevant disposal” and “exempt disposal” are as were defined in section 53
and 54 of the “1996 Act”.

A “relevant disposal” is:

a)    a conveyance of the freehold or an assignment of the lease, or

b)    the grant of a lease (other than a mortgage term) for a term of more than 21 years otherwise
      than at a rack rent.



                                                  43
An “exempt disposal” of the whole or part of the premises is:

1.    A conveyance of the freehold or an assignment of the lease and the person or each of the
      persons to whom it is made is:-

      a)    the person, or one of the person, by whom the disposal is made;

      b)    the spouse, or former spouse, of that person or one of those persons; or

      c)    a member of the family of that person or one of those persons; or

      d)    in the case of a company it is an associated company of the company by whom the
            disposal is made.

2.    a vesting in a person taking under a will or on an intestacy;

4.    a compulsory disposal of property which is acquired compulsorily;

11.   a conveyance of part of the freehold or an assignment of the lease where

      a)    the person making the disposal is aged at least 70, and

      b)    the disposal is to provide an annuity income, and

      c)    the person concerned is entitled to continue to occupy the premises as his only or main
            residence.

Any grant condition shall cease to be in force with respect to any premises if there is a relevant
disposal of the premises that is an exempt disposal. The only exceptions to this is an exempt
disposal under paragraphs 1,2 and 11 above where the grant recovery conditions remain in force
for any subsequent disposal within the original grant condition period.




                                                  44