HC Deb 01 July 1958 vol 590 cc74-5W
58. Mr. N. Pannell

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he is aware that many tenants are ignorant of the fact that, if they have continued to pay rent increases despite the non-completion of repairs within the statutory period of six months, they can recover not only all the increases thus wrongly paid, but also the amounts that would normally be recoverable at the expiration of the six-months period; and if he will use the resources of his Department to give the widest publicity to this fact in order to ensure the just implementation of the Rent Act, 1957.

Mr. Bevins

My right hon. Friend is not aware that there is widespread difficulty on this point. The tenant's rights, if the landlord does not honour his undertakings to do repairs within six months, are briefly set out in Questions 47 and 49 and Example C of "The Rent Act and You", of which 1¼ million copies have been sold.

At the end of the six months, the tenant can stop paying any increase until the work is done, and can get back at any time within two years any such increases which he has paid. In addition, he has the right to get back increases he paid during the six months by withholding a further weekly amount equal to the increase. He can exercise this second right until he has withheld an amount equal to all the increases paid during the six months or the work is done, whichever is the earlier.