HC Deb 26 June 1969 vol 785 cc1833-4
Mr. Speaker

We come now to Amendment No. 79, with which I have suggested we take Amendment No. 80, in page 30, line 17, leave out paragraph (c).

Amendment No. 83, in page 30, line 29, leave out 'not'.

Amendment No. 85, in page 30, line 31, at end insert: 'until the date from which a fair rent, registered after completion of such improvements, is recoverable'.

Mr. Allason

I beg to move Amendment No. 79, in page 29, line 35, leave out subsection (1) and insert: (1) Until the date from which a fair rent, registered in respect of a regulated tenancy resulting from the provisions of this part of this Act, is recoverable, sections 21(5) and 25(1) of the Rent Act, 1968 (effect of improvements on limit of rent before registration) and section 56 of that Act (increase of rent for improvements) shall remain in force in respect of a regulated tenancy or a controlled tenancy respectively effected by the said provisions. There is provision for landlords' expenses on improvement to permit an increase in rent of 12½ per cent. This has been the custom for a number of years, and it will continue in the case where there is a period of postponement, that is, where improvements have been carried out before the Bill becomes law. We have just discussed the period of postponement, which we think is too long.

During that period a 12½ per cent. increase in rent will be permitted. Thereafter in these cases it forms the base value from which the rent increases are phased during the subsequent period of delay. But in the other cases, where the improvements are made after the Bill becomes law, under this system they will not attract the 12½ per cent. increase. But they will attract no period of postponement, and will move immediately to decontrol—

Mr. Speaker

Order. It is difficult for the Chair to hear a debate against sustained conversations.

Mr. Allason

There will be no period of postponement, but there will still be a period of delay of four years before the fair rent takes full effect.

Here we are concerned with what should be the base value. Is it right that it should be the previous controlled rent, or should it be the controlled rent plus the 12½ per cent. of landlord's costs, that is, the rent to which the landlord would be entitled if there were any period of postponement? If there were a period of postponement of one day, the base value would be the additional 12½ per cent. In the absence of the period of postponement, the matter is treated separately.

The effect of the Amendments is to bring both types of case into the same category so that they are all granted the 12½ per cent. increase in landlords' costs as the base value from which the rent will gradually rise to the fair rent.

Mr. MacColl

So far as a house is already in the required state, it can enjoy the benefit of any 12½ per cent. increases that might have occurred, but where it is not yet in the required state but comes into the required state it does not get the benefit of the 12½ per cent. Although the hon. Member made a good case, the disadvantage of the amendment is that it would frustrate the whole basis of the phasing. It would mean that phasing would operate only on a reduced amount of the increase because the 12½ per cent. would be unphased. The hon. Member made a point about bearing in mind the burden of some of these increases on the tenant. The provision in the Bill is what we intend, and we think that it is the right arrangement.

Amendment negatived.

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