HC Deb 11 April 1933 vol 276 cc2513-5

The second proviso to Sub-section (1) of Section two of the Act of 1923, shall hare effect as though the words "on the ground of non-payment of rent" were omitted therefrom.—[Mr. Tinker.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

11.36 p.m.


I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

I hope the Minister will be as generous in his reception of this proposal as he has been to the two previous new Clauses brought before the Committee. I wonder whether, in this case, we too will be lucky and will have at least one of our proposals accepted. The purpose of the new Clause is to retain in control a number of houses which would otherwise pass out of control. At present there are several grounds on which a landlord can get an eviction order, but, in the case of one of these grounds only, is the house kept in control when an order is made. If a tenant has not paid the rent and the landlord gets an order, the house in that case does not go out of control. But if the order is obtained on the ground that the tenant has been causing a nuisance, for instance, or has been using the house for a wrongful purpose, the house goes out of control. We ask that if an eviction order is granted on any of the grounds mentioned in the 1923 Act, the house should not thereby be placed outside control. The landlord is within his rights in getting rid of a bad tenant, but not in applying decontrol to the house afterwards. The Minister argues that we are sure to have houses well within the range of what are called controlled rents. If so, there is no reason why he should not accept our proposal. The fact that a house is not to go out of control where an eviction order is obtained ought not to make any difference. A case was made out earlier this evening for a reduction in the permitted increase of 40 per cent. on the rents. If there is anything in the Minister's point, in reply to that case, he should agree to keep as many houses as possible in control until 1938—and if, by that time, sufficient houses are available to meet the demand, I think everybody will be satisfied.

11.40 p.m.


I am afraid that this is not one of the lucky Amendments. It is impossible to accept it. It cuts clean across the whole policy of the Bill. At present "B" houses remain subject to gradual decontrol, but a "B" house is not decontrolled if the landlord gets possession under an order of the Court on the ground of non-payment of rent. If we took these words out, the result would be that the landlord would never get decontrol if he got posses- sion by an order of the Court, for any ground whatsoever; in other words, it would reverse the whole policy on which the Bill is founded.

Question, "That the Clause be read a Second time," put, and negatived.