HC Deb 20 December 1960 vol 632 c1038
1. Mr. Fernyhough

asked the Attorney-General if he is aware that many owner-occupiers of leasehold property, the leases of which in some cases have only a few years to run, are being asked by their landlords to buy the freehold at an excessively high price, and that this is causing both anxiety and hardship; and if he will introduce legislation to protect such owner-occupiers from unreasonable demands on the part of the landlord.

The Solicitor-General (Sir Jocelyn Simon)

I assume the hon. Member is referring to leases originally granted for a term exceeding twenty-one years. No further legislation is needed. A tenant under such a lease who is offered the freehold on unreasonable terms can reject the offer in reliance on Part I of the Landlord and Tenant Act, 1954, which gives him security of tenure when the lease runs out.

Mr. Fernyhough

Does not the hon. and learned Gentleman think that Her Majesty's Government ought to make it perfectly clear that they resent the intimidation and blackmailing which some landlords are indulging in towards their tenants, causing them grave apprehension? May we take it that the Government are very much against landlords sending off circulars having the effect of which I have spoken?

Mr. Simon

I hope that the Answer that I have just given will receive some publicity and therefore obviate the sort of conduct to which the hon. Member has referred.