HC Deb 25 April 1967 vol 745 cc1299-300
8. Mr. Frank Allaun

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will now introduce legislation to avoid local authorities unnecessarily alarming council house tenants by having to serve a notice to quit on them when the councils require to alter their rents.

Mr. Mellish

My right hon. Friend must first consider the advice of the Law Commission, which has been looking into this matter. He expects to receive its report in the course of next month.

Mr. Allaun

Is my hon. Friend aware that for the last six or seven years I have been fobbed off by successive Housing Ministers with promises of future legislation? Will he act where others have failed to act?

Mr. Mellish

We are acting in the sense that we have asked the Law Commission to look into this matter in general. We are expecting its report next month. Its terms of reference were to consider whether a notice to quit is an essential prerequisite to a change of rent. and whether legislation is desirable to rectify the position. I hope that within the next month we can do something about it.

Sir J. Langford-Holt

Is there any possibility of issuing with the notice to quit an explanatory leaflet, which would go a long way to satisfying the hon. Member for Salford, East (Mr. Frank Allaun)?

Mr. Mellish

I understand that some local authorities have found a way of avoiding the service of a notice to quit in some circumstances, but the legal validity of this is not without doubt. It is because of this that we have had to seek the Law Commission's advice.