HC Deb 25 November 1936 vol 318 cc427-8

(for Mr. HOPKIN) asked the Attorney-General whether his attention has been called to the large number of long leases on dwelling houses which are now terminating or about to terminate; and whether he is prepared to take any and, if so, what action to alleviate the hardship consequent on the termination of such leases?


As far as the position on termination is concerned, I would draw the lion. Gentleman's attention to Section 18 of the Landlord and Tenant Act, 1927, which prevents an unreasonable use being made of the covenant to repair in cases where the buildings are to be pulled down or structurally altered. My Noble Friend the Lord Chancellor has had his attention drawn to certain other cases of hardship arising out of the technical breach of long leases, and he is making inquiries to see whether such cases would justify legislation and could be rectified by an amendment of the law or otherwise.


May I ask whether the last part of the answer refers to the user?


Would not the Solicitor-General admit that one of the worst pieces of long-lease tyranny was Regent Street on the part of the Government?


The last part of my answer referred to certain abuses which have been brought to the notice of my Noble Friend. The character of these abuses is the purchase of leases by speculators and then an attempt to enforce the covenants in order to resell the reversion. That matter is under the close consideration of my Noble Friend.

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