Friday, 27 March 2015

Short-term lets in Greater London – still no change

Royal Assent to the Deregulation Bill, together with a number of other Bills, was signified yesterday at the very last minute before parliament was prorogued. It has now therefore become the Deregulation Act 2015.

Contrary to original expectations (and the original drafting of the Bill), sections 44 and 45, amending section 25 of Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1973 have not come into force on the passing of the Act, but must await a Commencement Order.

The Deregulation Act 2015 (Consequential Amendments) Order 2015 (SI 2015 No. 971), which was made and laid before parliament today (and I confess that I was unaware that this could be done after parliament had been prorogued) does not bring these two sections into force.

Parliament has been prorogued until Monday 30 March, which is the day on which it is due to be dissolved in any event, so I would be rather surprised if any further statutory instruments could be made and laid before parliament on Monday – but I am rapidly learning that the Whitehall sausage machine never stops churning out subordinate legislation, so we shall have to see what (if anything) emerges on Monday.

If, however, I am right in my long-held belief that the proposed amendment to the 1973 Act, which currently restricts short-term lettings in Greater London, could not be achieved before the General Election, then we shall have to wait and see what the ministers who are in office after 7 May will do about it (if anything). If no commencement order is ever made, this would certainly not be the first legislative provision that has languished on the statute book unimplemented.


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