§ 56. Mr. Clinton Davis
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will now make a statement as to whether he is prepared to introduce amending 100W legislation to the Accommodation Agencies Act, 1953, in order to protect the interests of prospective tenants seeking accommodation through the aegis of such agencies.
§ 62. Mr. O'Halloran
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he is satisfied with the workings of the Accommodation Agencies Act, 1953; and if he will make a statement.
§ 81. Mr. Lipton
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when, in view of the evasion of the Accommodation Agencies Act 1953 by agencies illegally requiring payment from prospective tenants, he expects to complete his review of the operation of this Act.
§ 112. Mr. O'Halloran
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has had from local authorities regarding the workings of the Accommodation Agencies Act, 1953; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Amery
I have received one representation from a local authority on the workings of this Act. I understand that doubts have arisen as to the effect of the High Court's decision in Crouch and Leesv. Haridas.
I cannot interpret the law, but I understand that legal opinion has held that it does not prohibit charging for services other than those for which charging is expressly forbidden. I gather that this view is supported by a decision in a case heard before a stipendiary magistrate at Newcastle-upon-Tyne on 3rd December. Agencies providing few, if any, services beyond those mentioned in the Act, and charging for them, are as liable to prosecution as ever.
In the circumstances, the Government have no proposals at present for amending legislation.