HC Deb 11 March 1948 vol 448 cc1422-4
90. Mr. Skinnard

asked the Minister of Health whether, in view of hardships imposed on many small property owners in humble circumstances, he will consider amending the Rent Restriction Acts, to bring the rentals charged into relation with the present costs of maintenance and so put private owners in the same position as local authorities who may so increase rentals.

Mr. Bevan

I can hold out no prospect of early legislation to effect the amendment of the Rent Restriction Acts.

Mr. Skinnard

In view of the fact that many people in comparatively humble circumstances, before the more generous pension position of today, made provision for their families' future by acquiring small properties, and in view of the discrimination between this type of owner and local authorities, will my right hon. Friend look into this matter again?

Mr. Bevan

There are quite a number of anomalies arising out of the Rent Restrictions Acts, but I can hold out no prospect of immediate legislation.

Captain Crowder

Would the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind the very heavy cost of repairs which makes it impossible for anyone who has to keep in good repair a number of cottages to carry out their duty by the tenants?

Mr. James Hudson

Will the right hon. Gentleman take into account that many people will look upon it as a disaster to have their rents raised at a time when prices are being kept down?

92. Colonel Clarke

asked the Minister of Health if he will consider granting to housing societies the same facilities for increasing rents as are at present granted to local authorities.

Mr. Bevan

The point will be borne in mind when it is possible to consider comprehensive legislation dealing with rent restriction.

Colonel Clarke

Will the Minister bear in mind that these housing societies operate as non-profit making businesses to provide houses to let and that they provide efficient management for their tenants as well as a house, and that many of them will have to close down unless they can be given this facility, because they cannot make ends meet?

Mr. Bevan

All these facts will be taken into account when legislation is being framed.

93. Mr. Channon

asked the Minister of Health whether he will consider setting up a technical committee on the lines recommended by the Ridley Report on Rent Restriction to inquire and report on the cost of repairs and the burdens imposed on many owners of small property for whom the cost of repairs often exceeds the rent they obtain.

Mr. Bevan

No, Sir. The appointment of a technical committee at this stage was not part of the Ridley Committee's proposals.