HC Deb 13 December 1962 vol 669 cc552-3
22. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs to what extent rents vary for decontrolled tenancies of one, two, three, four and five rooms in the London and Greater London area.

Sir K. Joseph

Rents for decontrolled dwellings of the same size naturally vary according to the quality, condition and environment of the property. I have no information to show the extent of the variations, nor would it be practicable to collect it.

Mr. Sorensen

Am I to take it that the Minister does not know—and that his Department does not know—not only where rents are excessively high but also what is the comparison between one area and another? If he does not know, is it not highly desirable that he should?

Sir K. Joseph

I do not think so. Local authorities have powers to make compulsory purchase orders and send them to me for confirmation if they believe that a particular situation, with a combination of exorbitant rents and the threat of homelessness, makes it necessary.

Mr. M. Stewart

When the Minister is considering whether or not to confirm a compulsory purchase order, does he not have to consider comparable rents in the neighbourhood? If he has not some such idea in mind as that suggested by my hon. Friend, how can he do that?

Sir K. Joseph

Because that sort of fact is brought out at the inquiry.