HC Deb 15 February 1995 vol 254 c998
20. Mr. Carrington

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he has taken to ensure that council tenants can get repairs carried out quickly.

Mr. Curry

We introduced the new right-to-repair scheme on 1 April 1994. That gives tenants the right to have certain urgent repairs done quickly and at no cost to themselves.

Mr. Carrington

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that answer, but will he consider the other problems with council repairs: their cost and their quality? My hon. Friend should look seriously at the need to give council tenants and council leaseholders a vetting power over the cost of council repairs and the standard to which they are done. Council tenants and council leaseholders pay for the repairs.

Mr. Curry

The law gives leaseholders protection against unreasonable service charges. Landlords can recover the charges only if they are reasonably incurred and the work is of a reasonable standard. Leaseholders have the right to be consulted, to inspect accounts on which charges are based and to challenge unreasonable charges in the courts. I should be pleased to receive information from my hon. Friend about the specific problems brought to him by his constituents.