Lords amendment: No. 6, after clause 9, insert the following new clause:
A — In Schedule 1 to the 1980 Act, paragraph 1 (tenancy not to he secure tenancy if for period exceeding 20 years) shall cease to have effect.
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§ Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Ernest Armstrong)
With this it will be convenient to take Lords amendments Nos. 13 and 14.
§ Mr. Ancram
The purpose of amendments 6 and 14 is to repeal paragraph 1 of schedule 1 to the Tenants' Rights Etc. (Scotland) Act 1980. This paragraph provides that the tenancy shall not be a secure tenancy, and therefore the tenant shall not have the right to buy, if it is for a period of more than 20 years. The effect of the present amendments is that tenants who have such long leases will in future be secure tenants and will enjoy the right to buy, no matter whether they entered into the long lease before or after the date the Bill comes into effect.
The amendment clears up the confusion which existed earlier for tenants in the Central region. Earlier in the year, we learnt that the Central regional council was seeking to persuade its tenants, who presently do not have security of tenure, to enter into 21-year leases or to buy their property at a 10 per cent. discount. It was clear that by this means the council hoped to prevent tenants being given security of tenure and the right to buy at full discount when the Bill came into force. That would not be acceptable and the amendment makes it clear that that cannot be done.
§ Mr. Michael Forsyth (Stirling)
I thank my hon. Friend the Minister for moving the amendment, which will affect a number of my constituents. I believe that the Central regional council, in seeking to persuade its tenants either to buy their properties at a 10 per cent. discount or to enter into a 21-year lease, was involved in a thoroughly cynical and reprehensible act, which caused considerable concern and upset to tenants. We hear from some sections of the Labour party that they are not opposed to the right to buy, but on this occasion the Central regional council did everything possible to remove that right from its tenants. This was thoroughly disgraceful and considerable distress was caused. I am grateful to my hon. Friend for the speedy way in which he has acted. I am delighted to be able to convey to him considerable gratitude from my constituents who will benefit from the amendment.
§ Mr. Maxton
We shall not oppose the amendment, but I do wish that the hon. Member for Stirling (Mr. Forsyth) would stop parading his vindictive prejudices against the Central regional council.
§ Question put and agreed to.
§ Subsequent Lords amendment agreed to. [Special Entry.]