HC Deb 07 February 1956 vol 548 cc1498-9
42. Mr. J. Hynd

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he is aware that the statutory penalty of £10 for a failure by a landlord to insert in a rent book the notice required by the Rent Restriction Regulations, 1954, was lard down in 1933 and is inadequate as a deterrent; and if he will introduce legislation to increase this penalty.

The Minister of Housing and Local Government (Mr. Duncan Sandys)

I will look into this point.

Mr. Hynd

Will the Minister also look into the question that I raised with him recently, when I drew attention to the fact that these forms are not put into rent books and he said that he was not aware of the fact? Will the right hon. Gentleman consider whether a large-scale refusal by landlords to put these notices into the books may not be a better investment for them than inserting the notices if the fine which may be imposed ultimately is only £10.

Mr. Sandys

I have noted that the hon. Gentleman is pressing for legislation to amend the Rent Acts.

Captain Duncan

Has my right hon. Friend seen in The Times this morning a story of a landlord, from which he will deduce that £10 is quite a lot of money?

Mrs. Braddock

Does not the Minister agree that it would be a good deterrent if he made it known that unless the landlord complies with the regulations and the Act the tenant has no need to pay any rent to the landlord?

Mr. Hynd

Can the Minister tell me what he meant by his last reply to me? The right hon. Gentleman said in his first reply that he would look into this matter, but his supplementary reply seemed to suggest that he had no intention of doing so.

Mr. Sandys

I merely noted that the hon. Gentleman was, as he said in his original Question, urging that legislation be introduced to amend the Rent Acts. As he knows, I have undertaken to carry out a full review of the Rent Acts, with a view to seeing whether any changes are desirable. In the course of that review, I will gladly give an assurance to the hon. Gentleman that the point which he has raised will not be overlooked.