HC Deb 03 December 1951 vol 494 cc2012-3
39. Mr. Barnett Janner

asked the Attorney-General whether he is aware that on the termination of many shop and other business tenancies the tenants are being charged excessive rentals for continuation; and whether, in view of the hardship involved to tenants in obtaining alternative accommodation and losing the goodwill of their businesses, he will introduce legislation to deal with this position.

The Solicitor-General (Sir Reginald Manningham-Buller)

The hon. Member is, I am sure, aware that under Part 2 of the Leasehold Property (Temporary Provisions) Act shop tenants may, during the period ending with 21st June, 1953, apply to the county court for a renewal of their tenancies on terms to be fixed by the court. Consequently, if demands are made upon them for excessive rentals their appropriate course would be to avail themselves of the provisions of this Act. I am not yet in a position to make a statement about further legislation on this subject.

Mr. Janner

While fully appreciating what is contained in the Act to which the hon. and learned Gentleman has referred, may I ask if he is aware that that does not go very far? There are many tenancies not covered and quite a large number of people in shop tenancies, surgeries and offices are being affected in consequence of the fact that there is at the present time a shortage of accommodation, and would he rapidly do something about it?

The Solicitor - General

The late Government no doubt gave consideration to that problem before the introduction of their Bill. That Bill was limited to shop tenancies, and at the present moment the whole matter is under review.