Housing Repairs and Rents Act 1954

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1954 c. 53


Housing Repairs and Rents Act , 1954

(2 & 3 Eliz. 2) CHAPTER 53

An Act to make further provision for the clearance and redevelopment of areas of unfit housing accommodation, and for securing or promoting the reconditioning and maintenance of houses; and otherwise to amend the enactments relating to housing, the exercise of certain powers relating to land, and rent control.

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Further Provisions as to Clearance and Redevelopment, Reconditioning of unfit Houses, and other Amendments of Housing Acts

Part I

Further Provisions as to Clearance and Redevelopment,Reconditioning of unfit Houses, and other Amendmentsof Housing Acts

Additional powers in respect of clearance areas and other houses liable to demolition

Additional powers in respect of clearance areas and other houses liable to demolition

S-1 Proposals for exercise of functions of local authorities as to clearance areas, etc.

1 Proposals for exercise of functions of local authorities as to clearance areas, etc.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, every local authority shall within one year after the commencement of this Act, submit to the Minister in such form as the Minister may require proposals for dealing, under Parts II and III of the principal Act or under the following provisions of this Part of this Act, with houses within the district of the authority which appear to the authority to be unfit for human habitation, and with any other houses within that district which are or in the opinion of the authority ought to be included in clearance areas.

(2) If in the case of any local authority it appears to the Minister that in view of the high proportion of houses within their district which are unfit for human habitation, or of other exceptional circumstances, it is not reasonably practicable for that authority to submit proposals under the foregoing subsection within the period therein mentioned, he may authorise that authority to submit such proposals within such extended period as he considers appropriate.

(3) The Minister may approve proposals submitted by a local authority under this section with or without modifications, and thereafter it shall be the duty of the authority in carrying out their functions under the said provisions of the principal Act and this Part of this Act to have regard to the proposals as so approved, subject to any modifications made by subsequent proposals so approved.

(4) A local authority may at any time, and if directed by the Minister shall within the period specified in the direction, submit further proposals for amplifying or modifying any proposals previously submitted by that authority and approved under this section; and subsection (3) of this section shall apply to any such further proposals.

(5) A copy of any proposals approved under this section shall be deposited at the offices of the local authority concerned, and shall be open to inspection without charge during ordinary office hours.

S-2 Power to retain for temporary accommodation certain houses in clearance areas.

2 Power to retain for temporary accommodation certain houses in clearance areas.

(1) Notwithstanding anything in subsection (3) of section twenty-five of the principal Act or in section thirty of that Act, a local authority by whom an area has been declared (whether before or after the commencement of this Act) to be a clearance area under the said section twenty-five may postpone, for such period as may be determined by the authority, the demolition of any houses on land purchased by or belonging to the authority within that area, being houses which in the opinion of the authority are or can be rendered capable of providing accommodation of a standard which is adequate for the time being, and may carry out such works as may from time to time be required for rendering or keeping such houses capable of providing such accommodation as aforesaid pending their demolition.

(2) Where the demolition of any houses in a clearance area is postponed under the foregoing subsection, the local authority may also postpone the taking of any proceedings under the said subsection (3) in respect of any buildings (other than houses) within that area; and subsection (2) of section twenty-nine of the principal Act (which limits the period within which compulsory purchase orders may be submitted in respect of land comprised in or surrounded by or adjoining a clearance area) shall not apply to the purchase of any land in the area, other than houses, or to the purchase of any land surrounded by or adjoining the area.

(3) Where a local authority are satisfied, in the case of a house on land purchased by or belonging to them within a clearance area, not being a house retained by them for temporary use for housing purposes, that—

(a ) it is required for the support of a house which is so retained, or

(b ) there is some other special reason why it should not be demolished for the time being, and the reason is connected with the exercise of the authority's powers under subsection (1) of this section in relation to the clearance area,

then, notwithstanding anything in Part III of the principal Act, the authority may retain the house for the time being and shall not be required to demolish it so long as, in the case mentioned in paragraph (a ) of this subsection, it is required for the purpose therein referred to, or, in any other case, the said powers are being exercised by the authority in relation to that area; but a house which is retained by virtue of this subsection shall not be included among those referred to in paragraph (a ) of subsection (1) of section seven of this Act.

(4) The power of a local authority under Part III of the principal Act to purchase land within a clearance area may be exercised, for the purpose of acquiring any house within that area which in the opinion of the authority is or can be rendered capable of providing such accommodation as is mentioned in subsection (1) of this section, or in the case of which it appears to them desirable that it should be retained for either of the purposes mentioned in paragraphs (a ) and (b ) of the last foregoing subsection, notwithstanding that a clearance order has been made in respect of the house before the commencement of this Act or that any proceedings have been taken in pursuance of such an order; and on the completion of the purchase of any such house, the clearance order shall cease to have effect so far as it relates thereto.

(5) An order under section twenty-nine of the principal Act authorising the compulsory purchase by a local authority of any houses within an area declared as a clearance area before the commencement of this Act may, notwithstanding anything in subsection (2) of that section, be submitted to the Minister at any time not later than six months after the approval under section one of this Act of proposals submitted by that authority under subsection (1) of the said section one.

S-3 Power to purchase for temporary accommodation in lieu of making demolition orders.

3 Power to purchase for temporary accommodation in lieu of making demolition orders.

(1) In any case where a local authority would be required, apart from this section, to make a demolition order in respect of a house in pursuance of a notice served under subsection (1) of section eleven of the principal Act (which requires local authorities to order the demolition of certain houses unfit for human habitation in the absence of certain undertakings by the owners, or in default of compliance with such undertakings) the authority may, if it appears to them that the house is or can be rendered capable of providing accommodation of a standard which is adequate for the time being, purchase the house in lieu of making such an order.

(2) A local authority by whom a house is purchased under this section may carry out such works as may from time to time be required for rendering and keeping it capable of providing such accommodation as aforesaid pending its demolition by the authority.

(3) Where a local authority determine to purchase a house under this section, they shall serve notice of the determination on every person upon whom they would be required to serve a copy of a demolition order made in respect of the house under section eleven of the principal Act; and section fifteen of that Act (which provides for an appeal against certain notices and orders under Part II of that Act) shall apply in relation to any such notice as if it were a demolition order.

(4) At any time after a notice served under subsection (3) of this section in respect of a house has become operative under subsection (5) of the said section fifteen, the authority may purchase the house by agreement or may be authorised by the Minister to purchase it compulsorily; and the Acquisition of Land (Authorisation Procedure) Act, 1946, shall apply to a compulsory purchase under this section as if this section had been in force immediately before the commencement of that Act.

(5) The compensation to be paid for a house purchased compulsorily under this section shall be calculated in accordance with subsection (4) of section sixteen of the principal Act (which regulates the compensation payable for the compulsory purchase under that section of a house unfit for human habitation which cannot be rendered so fit at reasonable expense).

S-4 Postponement of demolition under clearance order in...

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