Newsflash: HCA cuts red tape on long lease extensionsPrint publication
On 6 April 2017 the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) will implement a Direction that removes the requirement for Registered Providers to notify the HCA on the grant of a long lease extension. Housing law specialist Jennifer Mann explains.
Less red tape for Registered Providers
Section 176(1) of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 currently requires Registered Providers (RPs) to notify the HCA when a disposal is made in relation to one of its properties.
Granting a long lease extension (either pursuant to the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 or on a voluntary basis) currently constitutes a disposal and therefore requires the landlord to notify the HCA and, in some instances, obtain its consent to the lease extension.
From 6 April 2017, however, the HCA will only require notification when a relevant disposal of a dwelling is made by a RP. Relevant disposal is defined in Table 1 of the HCA’s Direction  as where (in summary):
- the RP ceases to be the landlord after the disposal
- the disposal is connected to obtaining finance or
- the disposal is to provide or support a guarantee or other obligation.
Long lease extensions do not fall within any of the Table 1 categories. Therefore, RPs will no longer have to notify the HCA when granting a long lease extension.
RPs will undoubtedly welcome the Direction as it lessens the administrative burden on them when it comes to registering a long lease extension.
 Direction of the social housing regulator about notifications of disposal of social housing dwellings and of land other than a dwelling 2017, published by the HCA on 17 March 2017