§ 34. Commander Noble
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that a number of tenants of furnished flats in 551 Chelsea have received notices to quit which quote a recent legal decision as to what constituted a furnished flat in a specific case; and what steps he proposes to take to prevent hardship in these cases, and in similar cases that may arise, pending clarification of the point of law raised by the legal decision referred to and the passing of the Furnished Houses (Rent Control) Bill.
§ Mr. Bevan
I have seen reports in the Press, but have no knowledge of the merits of this particular case. The general position is that, under the Rent Restriction Acts, security of tenure is given to the tenants of furnished houses only in cases where the value of the furniture to the tenant is not a substantial proportion of the rent. Under the new Furnished Houses (Rent Control) Act, the rent of furnished premises outside the scope of the previous Acts may be controlled, and a limited security of tenure is given in cases where reference is made to tribunals set up thereunder. Local Authorities may be authorised, however, to requisition premises for the purpose of providing accommodation for the inadequately housed or of preventing a situation where people become homeless, and I propose to call their attention to these powers in suitable cases.
§ Mr. Janner
Will the Minister take immediate steps to notify the local authorities, because there are in fact a large number of similar notices being given to tenants all over London—for example, in Paddington as well as in my hon. and gallant Friend's constituency—and the people are becoming very alarmed about the situation?