§ 24. Mr. Frank Allaun
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister of Welsh Affairs if, following the further rapid rise in rents and in the price of second-hand houses during the last twelve months, he will now reconsider amending the Rent Act, 1957, to stop the decontrol of houses when their tenants Change as introduced by that Act.
§ Mr. Allaun
Since creeping decontrol is affecting 320,000 houses a year, far more than the Government foresaw in 1957, does not the Minister think that this rapid rise in prices and in rents will get even worse and that, for the first time since 1915, the British people and all tenants will be faced with an almost complete absence of housing control?
What the hon. Gentleman seeks in the reimposition of rent control would only encourage even more the tendency of landlords to sell their houses rather than to allow them to be rented, which I am sure is the opposite of what the hon. Gentleman wants.
§ Mr. M. Stewart
Is the Minister aware that the Rent Act has completely failed to encourage the appearance on the market of privately-owned property for renting? Is he aware of the merciless exploitation which is going on under the Rent Act? Would he like to do what I did yesterday and visit the property owned by Green-coat Properties Limited in Bethnal Green and see the rents demanded from and the conditions imposed on tenants under this Act? This is quite indefensible in the twentieth century.
The Rent Act has achieved a great improvement in housing. It has made available resources for repair which otherwise would not have been available. There is no intention of going back on it.