§ 17. Mrs. Mann
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware that old folk being evicted under the Rent Act have been offered other decontrolled houses, which have been increased from £15 to £90, particulars of which have been sent to him; and if he will take steps to remedy this in his new legislation.
§ Mr. J. N. Browne
It is not for my right hon. Friend to intervene in what is entirely a matter between landlord and tenant. If tenants are in doubt they should take advice on their position before entering into a new tenancy.
§ Mrs. Mann
Is not the Secretary of State for Scotland trying to repair the havoc of the 1957 Rent Act? In the proposed new legislation will not the courts find themselves greatly embarrassed in trying to sort out under-occupation when a couple are faced with paying twice the rent of a house which is under-occupied?
§ Mr. Browne
The hon. Lady can take comfort from the fact that, under the proposed Bill, provided the occupier does not give up possession of the house, he or she will be protected by the courts against hardship.
§ Mr. Browne
I take comfort from the fact that, if people cannot afford to pay, they will have the protection of the courts.
§ 18. Mrs. Mann
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware that landlords in Scotland are renewing agreements on decontrolled houses, and afterwards cancelling the agreements and proceeding with the sale; and if he will take steps by means of his proposed new legislation to prevent these incidents, particulars of which have been sent to him.
§ Mr. J.N. Browne
To break the standstill period, an agreement for a new tenancy must be for a period of not less than three years and must not be terminable within that period by notice to quit given by the landlord. If the landlord seeks to cancel a valid agreement, the tenant should take legal advice. If a new tenancy is not entered into and the tenant remains in occupation after a notice to quit has expired, the house will be one to which the Landlord and Tenant (Temporary Provisions) Bill will apply.