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Private Landlords

Volume 981: debated on Wednesday 19 March 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what proposals he has to help private landlords who will not benefit from his shorthold tenure proposals and are continuing to be adversely affected by rent legislation.

The Housing Bill contains several amendments to the present Rent Acts apart from the introduction of shorthold. The Bill modifies the fair rent regime by reducing the minimum period before rent registrations can normally be reviewed from three to two years, and by allowing increases in rent to be phased in two equal instalments instead of three as now.The Bill provides for the conversion of controlled tenancies with rents based on 1957 rateable values to regulated tenancies. Landlords of controlled tenancies will be able to apply to the rent officer for a fair rent to be registered when the Bill becomes law. It also changes the regime for new lettings under restricted contracts, mostly now those by resident landlords. Tenants will no longer be able to apply to the rent tribunal for suspension of a notice to quit. Instead the courts will be given discretion to postpone the operation of a possession order for up to three months but no longer.Among the other amendments to the Rent Act are changes to the rules about cancellation of registered rents; consolidation of the rules about rent agreements; measures to reduce delays in certain possession cases; and new conditions about rent payments and arrears in possession cases.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the estimated number of private landlords in the United Kingdom.