HC Deb 16 December 1970 vol 808 cc1328-9
13. Mr. Torney

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will introduce legislation to stop the practice of charging premiums upon unfurnished rented accommodation which is charged in addition to a weekly rent.

Mr. Channon

I would draw the hon. Member's attention to Part VII of the Rent Act, 1968, which makes it an offence to charge a premium for the grant, renewal or continuance of a protected tenancy.

Mr. Torney

Is the Minister aware that t sere is a considerable racket in London at the moment whereby, in addition to the rent that a tenant wishing to take an unfurnished flat is asked to pay, he has to pay anything from £200 to £1,000 for what are called "fixtures and fittings", and, when he looks at the place, he often finds that the fixtures and fittings can be thrown out because they are absolute rubbish? In other words, is the Minister aware that landlords are placing conditions on tenancies, and will he do something about it?

Mr. Channon

I have already said that it is an offence to charge a premium. If the hon. Gentleman knows of cases where this happens, I hope he will let me have details, although it is primarily a matter for local authorities to prosecute. My right hon. Friend is considering, following consultation with the Francis Committee, making it compulsory for tenants' rights to be put in their rent books as a matter of statute.