HC Deb 02 August 1962 vol 664 cc784-5
30. Mr. G. Thomas

asked the Attorney-General whether he will introduce legislation to give leaseholders who are owner-occupiers the right to select the insurance company with whom they insure their property.

The Attorney-General

I am not aware that restrictions of this kind cause any serious inconvenience but if the hon. Member would care to bring any examples to my attention I will certainly consider them.

Mr. Thomas

Is the Attorney-General aware that we expect much greater benefits from him than we had from his predecessor in this regard? There is a great sense of injustice among leaseholders that the ground landlords not only insist on the insurance company with which leaseholders shall insure their property, but are now going so far as to insist on the agent through which the transaction shall be conducted. Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman take steps to set the leaseholder free from these restrictions?

The Attorney-General

As I have said, if the hon. Gentleman will give me examples showing that this is either widespread or is causing difficulty, I will be very anxious to consider them.

Mr. Morris

Is the Attorney-General aware that this is an important matter in my constituency, Aberavon, and that the Church of England is one of the worst culprits?

The Attorney-General

This raises one of the difficulties. The Jenkins Committee's Report on leasehold reform, while it recommended an alteration of the law in this respect by a majority only, pointed out that as far as it could see very little practical inconvenience was being caused to the average tenant but that for landlords of large blocks of property such as the Church of England it provided a very convenient administrative arrangement by which all the insurances could be carried out in the same office. This is a balance of convenience, and I shall be very anxious to consider it.

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