Committee (1st Day)

Part of Housing and Planning Bill – in the House of Lords at 6:00 pm on 9th February 2016.

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Photo of Lord Tope Lord Tope Liberal Democrat 6:00 pm, 9th February 2016

My Lords, my noble friend Lady Bakewell spoke to these amendments fully and explained them very well, and we all wait with interest to hear the Minister’s response. We should recognise how important the issues that they raise are. My name does not happen to appear on Amendment 9—I am not quite sure why—but I certainly support it. We do need some sort of indication—I think 28 days is entirely right and appropriate—of how soon an appeal on matters that are so important and sensitive for both the tenant and the landlord will be heard. We are only too aware of other types of appeal that wait not just for months but for years. For an appeal to be heard within 28 days seems to me entirely reasonable.

The other amendments deal with another important point: exactly who will have access to the information in the database? Surely it must be right for the tenants to have a right of access to that information. Whether it is appropriate to put that in the Bill or in the draft regulations we wait to hear—but we have heard enough about the regulations already while debating this Bill, and we think that it should be on the face of the Bill. I hope that when the Minister replies she will, at the very least, agree with the point being made here. We can then argue about where the provision is to be placed. We look forward to the Minister’s reply; I hope it will be a positive one, recognising the importance of these issues.