Skip to main content

Short Tenancies

Volume 990: debated on Thursday 7 August 1980

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

Lords amendment: No. 44, in page 34, line 39, after "and" insert:

", notwithstanding the provisions of section 44(1) and (4) of the 1971 Act.".

I beg to move, That this House cloth agree with the Lords in the said amendment.

With this it will be convenient to take Lords amendments Nos. 45 to 48.

Amendment No. 44 is a technical amendment that is designed to ensure that, although the effective date of a fair rent determination will in future be either the date of registration or the date fixed by a rent officer, the effective date of a short tenancy shall be the date of the commencement of the short tenancy, which I know is agreeable to the Opposition.

Amendment No. 45 fulfils a Government undertaking given in Committee to scrutinise the clause and eliminate any scope for evasion. It ensures that the right of possession conferred upon landlords of short tenancies shall take into account the particular circumstances of either a statutory successor or a lawful sub-tenant and either will be able to remain in possession until the end of the contractual letting even though the head short tenancy is terminated before that date. Lords amendments Nos. 46, 47 and 48 remove certain ambiguities in the clauses as drafted. I commend them to the House.

I am not clear about Lords amendment No. 44. The Minister may care to remind the House why the rent in the case of a short tenancy takes effect from the commencement of the tenancy compared with the normal situation when it takes effect, particularly if there is some objection, from the date that the rent assessment committee makes its decision. I should like to know the implications from the point of view of the commencement date of the short tenancy. Short tenancies, by definition, will not last long. It can make a substantial difference to the date from which the tenancy operates. Is the date from which the rent is registered and operative of some significance or effect in terms of determining the date from which the tenancy itself starts and, therefore, the date on which the tenancy will eventually terminate?

I am happy to clarify the point. The right hon. Gentleman will recollect that in the terms of the Bill a short tenancy is one that must have a fair rent registered. There is no option for an agreement between the parties. Concern was expressed in earlier stages that in the interim period between a short tenancy beginning and a fair rent being determined the tenant might be charged an excessive rent. Although the matter would ultimately be resolved, he would be paying during that period more rent than he ought to have been paying. The amendment was brought forward to meet that point.

The Minister's explanation has brought back to my memory that this was the reason that the Opposition put forward this provision. I am therefore, content.

Question put and agreed to.

Lords amendments Nos. 45 to 48 agreed to.