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What is the Section 157 Housing Act 1985 restriction?

Prospective purchasers of former Council properties in one of the designated rural areas of Teignbridge must comply with Section 157 of the Housing Act 1985 in that they must have lived or worked in Devon, or a combination of the two, for three years immediately prior to purchase.  If there are two purchasers, only one person has to satisfy this requirement.  The restriction is intended to suppress the price of the property thereby making the property affordable to local people.  Local people are defined as those who have lived or worked in Devon etc. as defined above.

(i)    Q:    Does the Council hold any literature explaining the restriction?

      A:    There is no literature that the Council can readily give to a person explaining the Section 157 residency restriction, except for the following extract of the Housing Act 1985: pdf icon Section 157 of the Housing Act 1985 [422kb]

(ii)    Q:    To which areas does the restriction apply?

        A:    This restriction only applies to Council properties in rural areas and it is easier to say that it applies to the entire district save Newton Abbot, Dawlish, Teignmouth, Kingsteignton, Kingskerswell and Abbotskerswell.

(iii)    Q:    What form of evidence of residency and/or employment is acceptable?

        A:    The evidence that the Council accepts could be obtained from the electoral register of any of the Devon authorities, letters from employers or from academic institutions and in the absence of the former, a statutory declaration.  If the prospective purchaser has lived solely in the Teignbridge area for the requisite three years, they or their solicitor should first contact Legal Services, as shown below, who will arrange for the electoral register to be checked.  Bank statements are not acceptable.

(iv)    Q.    What happens after I have proved my residency and/or employment?

     A.    On receipt of the full names of all parties to the transaction, the Council's consent will be forwarded to the purchaser's solicitor who will arrange for it to be sent to the Plymouth District Land Registry on transfer of the property. 

(v)    Q:    Who can I get further assistance from on this matter?

        A:    Legal Services, Teignbridge District Council, Forde House, Brunel Road, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ12 4XX.
Telephone:  01626 215129 or 01626 215122
E-mail:  legal@teignbridge.gov.uk