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Clause 30—(Opposition By Landlord To Application For New Tenancy)

Volume 531: debated on Tuesday 27 July 1954

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Lords Amendment: In page 24, line 21, leave out paragraph ( d)

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

The paragraph which this Amendment proposes to leave out is the one which gives a landlord the right to oppose a renewal of a tenancy on the ground that the tenant has failed within a reasonable time to accept an option on reasonable terms for a renewal. This paragraph was criticised in another place by a noble Lord, a Member of the Opposition. It was urged that if the option had to be exercised some little time before the end of the tenancy the tenant might have felt unable for some good reason to commit himself then to a renewal for perhaps a substantial term, and that in such a case and also where the failure to exercise the option was due to inadvertence, he should not be unable to obtain a continuation of the tenancy. The suggestion was made that the matter should be left to the courts, but the difficulty is that it does not seem possible to lay down any principle on which such a discretion could be exercised, and we have come to the conclusion that it would be better to delete this paragraph.

I rise only to thank the Government for having made this change. I must say that it is in striking contrast to their obdurate refusal to make other changes which we have suggested, but, on behalf of the tenants, one must be thankful for small mercies and I express my gratitude to the Government for having gone at least a little way along the path which we, on this side, have recommended.

Question put, and agreed to.