HC Deb 07 April 1964 vol 692 cc791-2
22. Mr. Frank Allaun

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what action he proposes to take regarding the letter sent him by the hon. Member for Salford, East, regarding a firm of landlords, E. Ross Ltd. of Bolton, who, having failed to induce three widows, all old age pensioners, to buy the houses in Salford in which they have been tenants for more than 30 years, have sent them notices stating that their houses are decontrolled and raising their rents by 17s. 6d. a week.

Sir K. Joseph

I have referred the matter to the local authority to consider whether there has been any contravention of the Rent Act, 1957.

Mr. Allaun

As this kind of trick is being played on controlled tenants all over the country, does not the Minister think that, where court convictions are obtained, severe sentences should be imposed and that this would have an effect on other guilty landlords?

Sir K. Joseph

It is not for me to make any such comment about the judiciary. I have no evidence that this practice, if it does exist, is widespread.

Mr. M. Stewart

Are the three ladies referred to in the Question examples of the old people who have nothing whatever to worry about, of whom we were told in a Conservative television show recently?

Sir K. Joseph

They certainly have nothing whatsoever to worry about if they take advantage of their legal rights preserved to them by law.

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