HC Deb 21 July 2000 vol 354 c357W
Angela Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he expects to publish the report on the Financial Management and Policy Review of Rent Assessment Panels in England. [132557]

Mr. Mullin

I have today published a report on a review of Rent Assessment Panels in England, recommending a range of measures for improving the quality and effectiveness of the Panel service.

We want to retain the Rent Assessment Panels as independent and expert bodies to deal with fair rent appeals and resolve disputes between leaseholders and landlords. However, there are a number of areas where the Panels, and the committees and tribunals drawn from them, need to improve their performance and make themselves more accessible to parties who use them.

The report lays the foundation for raising standards of expertise and ensuring best practice across the Panels. A flexible, more simplified process for all parties and changes to the way in which the Panels are managed and organised will reduce the time taken for decisions to be reached by committees and tribunals. We are looking to implement the report recommendations as soon as possible.

Copies of the report have been placed in the Library of the House.