Rents, London

Oral Answers to Questions — Housing – in the House of Commons on 10th December 1942.

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Mr. Astor:

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the difficulty being experienced by officers and their wives in getting accommodation at reasonable rates in London, owing to the higher rents being offered by Allied Forces; and whether he will consider strengthening existing machinery by limiting rents of all houses and flats to the rents paid on 1st January, 1940, except where increases in the landlords' costs can be proved?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

I have no evidence of any special difficulty arising from the cause to which my hon. Friend refers, but I will look at once into any complaint which he may care to bring to my notice. As regards the second part of the Question, I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I recently gave to a Question on the subject by my hon. Friend the Member for Ealing (Sir F. Sanderson). I am sending him a copy of that reply, together with a copy of my recent circular to local authorities.

Photo of Mr Robert Morrison Mr Robert Morrison , Tottenham North

asked the Minister of Health whether he will extend the protection of the Rent Restrictions Acts at present applied to houses within the Metropolitan Police area, and of a rateable value not exceeding £100, to cover the home counties, in order to stop profiteering in this type of property?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

I have no evidence which shows that the existing difference in limits leads to any serious anomalies and I do not consider, therefore, that the action suggested by my hon. Friend would be justified. I am, however, grateful to him for bringing a particular case to my attention. I am looking into this, and will communicate with my hon. Friend.

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is a far greater grievance against tenants who, sublet than there is against landlords?

Mr. Astor:

Is not my right hon. Friend aware that this is a very real difficulty for officers stationed in London? If a case is brought to his attention, will he take severe action against the landlord responsible?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

Rents of houses and flats of the value of £100 and under are controlled in the London area.

Mr. Astor:

Apart from rents of £100 and under, will my right hon. Friend take steps in the case of all houses and all flats?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

My answer covers that point.

Photo of Mr Alfred Edwards Mr Alfred Edwards , Middlesbrough East

If the right hon. Gentleman does take action, will he see that it applies also to furnished flats?