HC Deb 14 August 1919 vol 119 cc1767-8

(1) If the owner of any house suitable for occupation by persons of the working classes fails to keep such house in all respects reasonably fit for human habitation, then, without prejudice to any other powers, the local authority may serve a notice in writing upon the owner of such house requiring him within a reasonable time, not being less than twenty-one days specified in the notice, to execute such works as may be necessary to make the house in all respects reasonably fit for human habitation.

(2) If the notice of the local authority is not complied with the authority may, at the expiration of the time specified in the notice given by them to the owner, do the work required to be done, and may recover the expenses incurred by them from the owner, and for that purpose the provisions of Sub-sections (5) and (6) of Section fifteen of the Housing, Town Planning, etc., Act, 1909, with respect to the execution of works and the recovery of expenses by local authorities and with respect to the landlords right of appeal shall apply as if the owner were the landlord, and with such other adaptations as may be necessary.

Lords Amendment:

At the end of Sub-section (1) insert the words ("provided that if such house is not capable without reconstruction of being rendered fit for human habitation, the owner may, within twenty-one days after the receipt of such notice by written notice to the local authority, declare his intention of closing the house for human habitation, and thereupon a closing order shall be deemed to have become operative in respect of such house. Any question arising under this proviso shall in case of difference between the owner and the local authority, be determined by the sheriff")


I beg to move "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

This Amendment is the only Amendment which can be said to contain any substance, other than that on Clause 19. The effect is merely to enable the proprietor, when a house is condemned or found fault with, to adopt, if he likes, the course of closing the house. The Amendment again re-echoes a provision in the English Bill and does not seem unfair.


I have no objection whatever to the proposed Amendment. My only point is to make certain that tenants affected by a Clause of this kind will be in exactly the same position, as regards removal allowance, as tenants who have been displaced under the operation of the ordinary closing order pronounced by a public Court, in Scotland the Public Health Committee and the Town or County Council.


I can safely give the hon. Member the assurance that it does give that.

Question put, and agreed to.

Lords Amendment:

In Sub-section (2), leave out the words "at the expiration of the time specified in the notice given by them to the owner," and insert instead thereof the words (a) At the expiration of the time specified in that notice if no such notice as aforesaid has been given by the owner; and (b) At the expiration of twenty-one days from the determination by the sheriff if such notice has been given by the owner, and the sheriff has determined that the house is capable without reconstruction of being made fit for human habitation.

—Agreed to.