Clause 5. — (provisions in case where tenant is broad.)

Orders of the Day — Landlord and Tenant (Requisitioned Land) Bill. – in the House of Commons on 26th March 1942.

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Lords Amendment: In page 6, line 26, after "application", insert "made on behalf of the tenant or".

Photo of Mr David Maxwell Fyfe Mr David Maxwell Fyfe , Liverpool, West Derby

I beg to move, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

This Amendment gives an additional right to a tenant who is overseas on military service or otherwise in order that his case may be presented.

Photo of Mr George Garro-Jones Mr George Garro-Jones , Aberdeen North

In what part of the Bill is it stated who it is who may make application on behalf of the tenant? Is it a relative or his legal adviser?

Photo of Mr David Maxwell Fyfe Mr David Maxwell Fyfe , Liverpool, West Derby

I think my hon. Friend will find that stated in the Clause. The object of this provision is to cover the case where the tenant abroad is too late in giving his notice of disclaimer, but is not unobtainable and can give instructions to the person mentioned.

Photo of Mr George Garro-Jones Mr George Garro-Jones , Aberdeen North

But where is it in Clause 5? I can find a definition of a member of the family in the Interpretation Clause, but I cannot find in Clause 5 who may make the application.

Photo of Mr David Maxwell Fyfe Mr David Maxwell Fyfe , Liverpool, West Derby

Let me explain the present construction of Clause 5. Under Sub-section (1) an application may be made by the tenant himself within a reasonable time after his return. Under Sub-section (2) where the tenant cannot be found and it is not reasonably practicable to obtain instructions, and the applicant is a proper person to exercise the rights on behalf of the tenant, the court may, if it thinks fit, direct that those rights may be exercised. Who is the proper person, whether a relative or a solicitor, is, I think a matter for the court. As I understand it, it would be proper for the court to allow the tenant's agent, or the estate agent who is managing his property, or any person who is authorised by the tenant, to act. If this Amendment is inserted the words "made on behalf of the tenant" would obviously include the same class of person. It would not be limited to solicitors, but would include anyone who is deemed a proper person.

Question put, and agreed to.

Further Lords Amendments to page 6, line 31, agreed to.

Lords Amendment: In page 7, line 47, at the end, insert new Clause A (Adjustment of rights as to certain buildings and fixtures).

  1. (1) Where possession of any land comprised in a lease has been taken on behalf of His Majesty in the exercise of emergency powers and—
    1. (a) the tenant has a right, as between him and his landlord, to remove, either during the currency of the lease or after the termination thereof, any building or fixtures annexed to the land; and
    2. (b) the lease comes to an end (whether as the result of disclaimer under this Act or otherwise) before possession of the land so taken has been given up, or within such a short period thereafter as not to give the tenant a reasonable opportunity for exercising his right;
    the said right may be exercised within a reasonable time after such possession has been given up or, with the consent of the authority by whom possession was so taken, at any earlier time.
  2. (2) The foregoing Sub-section shall not apply to any building or fixture which is annexed to a holding within the meaning of the Agricultural Holdings Act, 1923, and is a building or fixture to which Section twenty-two of that Act applies, but that Section shall have effect, in any such case as is mentioned in the last foregoing Sub-section, as if the reference in that Section to a reasonable time after the termination of the tenancy were construed as a reference to a reasonable time after possession of the land taken in the exercise of emergency powers has been given up.
  3. (3) The tenant of any land of which possession has been taken as aforesaid may recover from the person entitled to the compensation payable in respect of the land under paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) of Sub-section (1) of Section two of the Compensation (Defence) Act, 1939, such part (if any) of the compensation payable under the said paragraph (a) as may be agreed by the tenant and the said person, or in default of agreement, as may be determined by the court, to be attributable to the use during any period after the termination of the lease of any building or fixtures removable by the tenant, and such part of the compensation payable under the said paragraph (b) as may be so agreed or determined to be attributable to damage to any such building or fixtures.
  4. (4) Where the tenant of any land is entitled under the foregoing provisions of this Section to remove any building or fixtures within a reasonable time after possession of the land is given up as aforesaid, the person who, when possession is so given up, is entitled to occupy the land, shall, if the tenant has served on him a notice requesting to be informed when possession is so given up and specifying the address to which the information is to be sent, serve a notice accordingly giving that information, and the period within which the tenant may remove the building or fixtures shall extend to a reasonable time after the service of the notice by the said person.
  5. (5) This Section shall extend to any case where the lease has come to an end before the date of the passing of this Act but possession of the land comprised therein is still retained as aforesaid at the said date, and shall, in relation to any such lease, be deemed to have been in force at the termination thereof.

Photo of Mr David Maxwell Fyfe Mr David Maxwell Fyfe , Liverpool, West Derby

I beg to move, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

Under the procedure which we have varied by passing a number of Amendments to omit various provisions in the Bill, the tenant would have been allowed to remove fixtures within one month of the end of the requisitioning period and to get a share of the compensation which is enhanced by the value of fixtures. We did not think that that went far enough, and the new Clause covers the case where a lease has come to an end not by disclaimer on the part of the tenant but by the ordinary effluxion of time or the terms of the lease. In those circumstances a tenant may be barred from removing fixtures, and we have dealt with that position. We have also dealt with the position where it is not fixtures which are concerned but buildings which the tenant would have the right to demolish and remove were it not for the requisitioning being a fact. To answer the point made by the hon. Member for North Aberdeen (Mr. Garro Jones) that was one of the main reasons why this new Clause was introduced and why the alteration had to be made in the Title. A very hard case was brought to our attention in which a tenant was unable to remove a building on the land because it was requisitioned and the landlord was therefore getting compensation rent of a very considerable amount and not sharing it with the tenant. We felt that that sort of position ought to be dealt with even at the risk of taking the procedure which my hon. Friend has criticised.

Photo of Mr George Garro-Jones Mr George Garro-Jones , Aberdeen North

I should like to point out that this is a new Clause which would not have been admitted by the Chair if it had been proposed at the ordinary stage in the Committee proceedings.

Photo of Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy , Daventry

I must inform the hon. Member that that is not the case.

Photo of Mr George Garro-Jones Mr George Garro-Jones , Aberdeen North

It has been necessary to make an Amendment in the Title of the Bill in order to make admissible a Clause which would not otherwise have been admissible.

Photo of Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy , Daventry

That is not the case either.

Photo of Mr George Garro-Jones Mr George Garro-Jones , Aberdeen North

Then perhaps it may be possible for my hon. and learned Friend to say why it has been necessary to amend the Title. I think the House would be very glad to know what was the reason for this very unusual procedure of making an Amendment in the Title to the Bill. We might have spent a considerable time in debating it, and I should be glad to know the purpose of it.

Photo of Mr David Maxwell Fyfe Mr David Maxwell Fyfe , Liverpool, West Derby

With regard to procedure, perhaps I might respectfully draw the attention of my hon. Friend to the possibility that he might receive enlightenment from a perusal of Standing Order No. 34. With regard to the other point which has occurred here, the proposed new Clause, as I have already explained, deals with fixtures. It embraces fixtures on requisitioned property which has not been disclaimed as well as on property which has been disclaimed. Therefore it seemed clear that there should be included in the Title the words: for the adjustment of the rights of the parties to such leases with respect to certain buildings and fixtures. to make it clear that the Bill deals not only with disclaimed property but with property which has not been disclaimed. I appreciate my hon. Friend's very wide-awake, watch-dog activity on these occasions, but if he considers the Title now with the object of the Bill and the proposed new Clause in mind, he will see that, on the merits and apart from the technicalities, there is no difficulty placed in the way of hon. Members.

Question, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment," put, and agreed to.

Subsequent Lords Amendment agreed to.