§ Mr. Mayhew
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he is aware that owners of certain blocks 50W of flats are evading the Housing Repairs and Rents Act by making it compulsory to include a garage in the tenancy, thereby obtaining a substantially increased rent; and whether he will introduce legislation to prohibit this practice.
§ Mr. Sandys
I assume the hon. Member is referring to the case about which he wrote to me on 20th January. As the hon. Member has already been informed, this raises complex issues of law which the courts alone can determine, and anyone in doubt about his position should seek legal advice. I am, however, advised that a tenant protected under the Rent Acts cannot be compelled to rent a garage and pay an increased rent. If a reletting of what have been rent-controlled premises with a garage added amounts to a change in the identity of the rent-controlled premises, this will result in a new standard rent, which can be referred to a Rent Tribunal under Section 1 of the Landlord and Tenant (Rent Control) Act, 1949.