HC Deb 27 October 1943 vol 393 cc235-6
The Lord Advocate

I beg to move, in page 2, line 4, to leave out "attendance," and to insert "services."

This Amendment is a little technical, and requires explanation. The Rent Restrictions Acts excluded cases where pre- mises are let with any substantial amount of furniture or attendance. The word "attendance" is not defined, and it is not easy to say just what it means. In drafting this Bill we desired not to overlap the Rent Restrictions Acts, but rather to bring in a complementary Bill which would catch the cases that escape from the Rent Restrictions Acts, and we used the words "furniture or attendance." On second thoughts, we felt that, although logically correct, that might cause considerable difficulties. The courts in England have held, and I have no reason to think that the courts in Scotland would not follow their example, that certain types of service cannot be held to be attendance. It has been decided, indeed, that if you carry coal upstairs to your tenant it is attendance, but if you put the coal in the boiler downstairs and the tenant draws off hot water upstairs, that is not attendance. If we leave the Bill in its present form there will be considerable difficulties for people who try to determine which of the two Acts they come under. They may get into embarrassing positions. We think it better to expand the protection of the Act to a slight extent. I do not think that it will make a difference in many cases but it may in some. At present the Bill leaves out that type of case where there is an unfurnished let with no attendance, but with services other than attendance. We define services, in an Amendment which is to be moved on Clause 9, to include attendance, the provision of heating or lighting, the supply of hot water and any other privilege or facility connected with the occupancy of a house or part of a house. So we are taking in cases where there are services other than attendance, and no furniture. Although this may not be entirely justifiable in logic, it will save considerable embarrassment when unskilled people are considering their position.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 3 ordered to stand part of the Bill.