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Council Houses (Rents)

Volume 409: debated on Thursday 29 March 1945

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asked the Minister of Health if he is aware of the decision of the Ampthill, Bedfordshire, rural council to increase the rents of their houses by 1s. per week to meet the increased cost of repairs; what percentage this increase is on the net rental; and under what authority local authorities owning houses are in a more favourable position in this -respect than private owners.

My attention had not previously been drawn to this decision. The increase represents 18.4 per cent. on the average rental, excluding rates, and is made under the authority of section 83 of the Housing Act, 1936, and section 3 (2) of the Rent and Mortgage Interest Restrictions Act, 1939.

Has the attention of the right hon. and learned Gentleman been drawn to other local authorities since I put my Question down, such as the L.C.C., who are also increasing their rents by as much as 5s. per week? Also, he has not answered the part of my Question where I asked why should local authorities be more favourably placed than private owners.

If the hon. Gentleman will look again at his Question he will find that he did not ask for reasons or causes; he asked, "Under what authority local authorities owning houses are in a more favourable position." The answer that I gave him indicated that it was under authority given by Parliament.

When will private owners be placed iii the same position as local authorities?

My hon. Friend is perhaps aware that I have very recently received the report of the.Rent Control Committee, which is now under consideration.

On that point, could I ask my right hon. and learned Friend, since he has had this report now a fair time, when it is likely to be published?

I think that that Question is on the Paper to-day. The answer is that it will be published shortly after Easter.