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Right Of Qualifying Tenants To Compel Sale Etc By New Landlord

Volume 115: debated on Tuesday 5 May 1987

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I beg to move amendment No. 1, in page 14, line 29, leave out 'one month' and insert 'three months'.

With this it will be convenient to take Government amendment No. 2.

Throughout the Standing Committee proceedings, hon. Members of all parties tried to improve the Bill, and I think that we have done so. This amendment extends to three months the period for tenants to serve a purchase notice if they want to exercise their right to buy the property from the new landlord in a situation where a former landlord failed to comply with the right of first refusal.

In Committee I undertook to reconsider extending the minimum period following the amendments put down by the hon. Member for Norwood (Mr. Fraser), and the hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. Raynsford), whom I do not see in his accustomed place in the Chamber. On reflection, I accept that one month is too tight if residents have not known before then exactly what the terms of the sale to the new landlord were or the price paid. Even two months in a case where they already know the terms and the price and have not had to ask the new landlord may not be long enough. So I believe that it would be better to allow three months in each case. I think that this strikes a fairer balance without unduly prolonging the uncertainty for the new landlord, because that would be unfair.

I reiterate that on these Benches we have tried throughout to strike a fair balance between the good and responsible landlord and the good and responsible tenant. I think that these amendments meet the points raised in Committee and I commend them to the House.

I am grateful to the Minister for having considered the points made in Committee.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment made, No. 2, in page 14, line 31, leave out `specified' and insert 'of three months beginning with the date mentioned'.— [Mr. John Patten.]

Clause 12, as amended, added to the Bill.