§ 4. Mr. Frank Allaun
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he is aware of the practice of property companies in buying up old controlled houses with a view to their becoming decontrolled by the removal or death of the tenant that they are offering tenants money to move out and in some cases are unlawfully threatening tenants with eviction; and if, in order to prevent such abuses, he will now amend the Rent Act.
§ Sir K. Joseph
A controlled tenant is as fully protected today as he was before the passing of the Rent Act, 1957. In particular, he cannot be evicted without 223 a court order. Financial inducements to move out are not illegal, but a tenant should consider any offer very carefully before accepting it.
§ Mr. Allaun
If I send it to him, will the Minister read the eviction order which I have in my hand which was sent to an old-age pensioner aged 73 in my constituency who had lived in the house and paid his rent regularly since 1913? Is the Minister aware that when I took up the matter with the firm, which is trebling the rents as soon as it gets tenants out, the firm hastily replied that it had made a mistake? Cannot the Minister do something to stop this kind of exploitation, which is taking place on a wide scale?
§ Mr. MacColl
Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that the one great difference between the situation now and the situation before 1957 is that when the tenant moved out in those days into another dwelling it was still controlled, whereas now he moves into a place which is decontrolled and has no security of tenure?
§ Sir K. Joseph
The hon. Gentleman is under a misapprehension. The tenant generally could not move into any other decontrolled dwelling in those days because the landlord, having got the previous occupant out, sold it.