§ Mr. Silkin
asked the Minister of Health whether he is now in a position to make a statement on the charging of excessive rents for furnished accommodation in the light of the reports he has received from local authorities?
§ Mr. E. Brown
I have now received reports from 1,062 of the 1,468 local authorities concerned. Only 99 of these authorities report that they have received any complaints of over-charging for furnished accommodation, the total number of complaints being 233. One hundred and fourteen of these complaints proved on investigation to be unfounded. Of the remaining 119 complaints, legal proceedings were taken in respect of 35, of which 21 were successful, whilst the local authorities concerned were able to secure satisfactory adjustments of rent in the remaining 84 cases by making representations to the landlords. Although some reports are "still outstanding, sufficient have already been received to confirm the conclusions drawn from the previous reports, the substance of which I gave to the House in September, 1941, in reply to a Question from my hon. Friend that for the greater part of the country there is no evidence at all of the charging of excessive rents. Where such cases had occurred, and they are nowhere numerous,870W the rent restriction committee of the local authority is able to deal with them promptly and effectively by the use of their statutory powers. I am asking local authorities for further reports in six months time, when I shall further examine this important subject.