HC Deb 25 October 1960 vol 627 cc2135-6
25. Mr. Reynolds

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what information he has obtained on the operation of the Rent Act, 1957, by means of surveys carried out by, or on behalf of, his Department.

Mr. H. Brooke

I have now received the report of a sample survey carried out by the Social Survey Unit of the Central Office of Information. I propose to publish it. Among the conclusions which it suggests are that the number of houses decontrolled by reason of rateable value has been smaller than was forecast, whereas the number decontrolled on vacant possession has been larger. It confirms the view that generally speaking the new rents charged after decontrol were moderate, and that sitting tenants were given favourable treatment.

Mr. Reynolds

Can the Minister please explain why it has taken a Question on the Order Paper to secure the publication of a report on which work was started three years ago?

Mr. Brooke

The hon. Member seems to know a great deal about this, but the survey could not be completed until 1959, and I received the report only just before the Summer Recess.

Mr. Albu

In view of the confirmation in the report of what many of us know, that one of the most serious problems, creeping decontrol, is caused by vacant possession, does the Minister propose to do anything about this, as the number of houses under control is falling all the time and increasing the difficulties?

Mr. Brooke

No, Sir. The Government do not propose to legislate to alter the provisions in the Rent Act about the decontrol of houses with vacant possession.