HC Deb 04 May 1955 vol 540 cc138-9W
80. Mr. Janner

asked the Attorney-General whether he is aware that owing to their inability to obtain legal aid or advice, large numbers of tenants throughout the country have agreed to pay additional rents in excess of the amounts awarded by county courts or tribunals in respect of similar accommodation in the same or adjoining buildings; and whether he will take immediate steps to extend legal aid for those tenants whose position has not yet been crystallised in respect of the Housing Repairs and Rent Acts.

The Attorney-General

I understand that many increases of rent authorised by the Housing Repairs and Rents Act have been agreed between landlord and tenant; I am not aware that such increases have in general been greater than those awarded by county courts or rent tribunals, and I have no evidence that the tenants who agreed to them did so in ignorance of their legal rights. As the hon. Member already knows, the Government have decided to make legal aid available for all types of county court proceedings which are covered by the Legal Aid and Advice Act, 1949. The hon. Member will appreciate that a considerable amount of administrative work will be necessary before my noble Friend the Lord Chancellor will be in a position to make the appropriate Order under the Act, and I cannot yet say when that Order will be made.