§ 25. Mr. G. M. Thomson
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland to make a statement on the working of the Housing (Repairs and Rents) (Scotland) Act in the City of Dundee.
§ Mr. J. Stuart
At 31st December last, the town council had granted eight applications for certificates of disrepair, refused two and had one under consideration. The next return, showing the number of applications dealt with up to 30th June, should be available towards the end of July. It will not, however, be possible to give information about repair increases and the local authority proposals for dealing with unfit houses under the Act until the autumn.
§ Mr. Thomson
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that under this Act there are about 300 tenants of the Northern Housing Association in Dundee who have been completely removed from the protection of the Rent Acts and left completely at the mercy of the landlords? What is he going to do about it?
§ Mr. Stuart
The Association has informed the tenants, but has no intention of breaking any leases. The tenants are asked merely to renew their leases, if they wish to under the new conditions.
§ Mr. Strachey
Is it not the intention of the landlord in this case to increase the rents? Is not the right hon. Gentleman now saying that they are enabled to do it by being outside the Rent Restrictions Acts? Was it his intention to secure this effect when he inserted this Clause in the Bill?
§ Mr. Stuart
I cannot debate again a Clause which was fully debated when the Bill went through the House of Commons. During the long discussions, it was stressed again and again that an increase in costs necessitated some alteration to maintain houses.
§ Colonel Gomme-Duncan
Is it not the policy of the Socialist Party that local authorities should take over all these houses, and in that case would the houses not come automatically outside the Rent Restrictions Acts?