HC Deb 01 November 1966 vol 735 cc221-2
3. Mrs. Lena Jeger

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government in how many cases, where rent assessment committees have increased the rent proposed by rent officers, such increases have been back-dated; and whether he is aware of the hardship caused to many tenants in these circumstances.

Mr. MacColl

Whether and when a rent increase can become effective in any case depends on the status and terms of the tenancy. Up to 7th October, the original rent was increased in only 24 of the 259 cases determined by the London Rent Panel, and I have no evidence of hardship due to arrears in such cases.

Mrs. Jeger

Is my hon. Friend not aware that in some cases there is such a long delay between the rent officer's original decision and the hearing of the appeal that in the meanwhile repairs have sometimes been carried out and the unfortunate tenant has to pay rent backdated to the original application when he was not enjoying the amenities on which the new level was assessed?

Mr. MacColl

I would agree that in a case of that sort I would think that the increase should go back only to when the repairs were done.

Mr. Graham Page

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in many cases where there is failure to back-date there is very grave hardship for the small landlord?

Mr. MacColl

The object of the Act is to hold the balance evenly, which is why it is sometimes criticised by hon. Members on both sides of the House.

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