asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he is aware that the Court of Appeal has upheld the judgment of the Divisional Court in the case of Rex v. St. Helens Rent Tribunal ex partePickavance; and if he will introduce legislation to protect tenants who are affected by this decision.
Would the Minister be good enough to consider the debate which took place when an endeavour was made to remove an anomaly by which tenants could not get protection at all? When Section 11 of the Act of 1949 was passed everybody thought that that protection had been granted. Will the Minister go into the matter rapidly, because it means that a large number of tenants will be placed in peril unless there is legislation quickly?
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if his attention has been called to the growing practice of some landlords of property controlled by the Rent Restrictions Acts to request their tenants to make some voluntary contribution in addition to the controlled rent; and whether, in view of the fact that many tenants think that if they do not respond they may be penalised or blacklisted in some way, he will take steps to ensure that the intention of the Rent Restrictions Acts is not undermined by the development of such practices.
That will not do. The Minister must realise that he has the power to give instructions. May I ask whether he will exercise the power that he has to instruct local authorities to make clear what the rights of tenants really are and, by that method, avoid these serious and pernicious practices?
Perhaps the Minister has misread the Question. If he will read it again he will see that the persons concerned are penalised, not that he should penalise them. I ask him to consider this matter. Is it not a fact that tenants voluntarily pay these sums, and will he get the local authorities to make clear to tenants what their rights are?