Increase of Rent and Mortgage Interest (Restrictions) Act 1920

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1920 c. 17


Increase of Rent and Mortgage Interest (Restrictions) Act, 1920.

(10 & 11 Geo. 5.) CHAPTER 17.

An Act to consolidate and amend the Law with respect to the increase of rent and recovery of possession of premises in certain cases, and the increase of the rate of interest on, and the calling in of securities on such premises, and for purposes in connection therewith.

[2nd July 1920]

Be it enacted by the King'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:

Restrictions on Increase of Rent and Mortgage Interest.

Restrictions on Increase of Rent and Mortgage Interest.

S-1 Restriction on increasing rent and mortgage interest.

1 Restriction on increasing rent and mortgage interest.

1. Subject to the provisions of this Act, where the rent of any dwelling-house to which this Act applies, or the rate of interest on a mortgage to which this Act applies, has been, since the twenty-fifth day of March nineteen hundred and twenty, or is hereafter, increased, then, if the increased rent or the increased rate of interest exceeds by more than the amount permitted under this Act the standard rent or standard rate of interest, the amount of such excess shall, notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary, be irrecoverable from the tenant or the mortgagor, as the case may be:

Provided that, where a landlord or mortgagee has increased the rent of any such dwelling-house or the rate of interest on any such mortgage since the said date, but before the passing of this Act, he may cancel such increase and repay any amount paid by virtue thereof, and in that case the rent or rate shall not be deemed to have been increased since that date.

S-2 Permitted increases in rent.

2 Permitted increases in rent.

(1) The amount by which the increased rent of a dwelling-house to which this Act applies may exceed the standard rent shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, be as follows, that is to say:—

(a ) Where the landlord has since the fourth day of August nineteen hundred and fourteen incurred, or hereafter incurs, expenditure on the improvement or structural alteration of the dwelling-house (not including expenditure on decoration or repairs), an amount calculated at a rate per annum not exceeding six, or, in the case of such expenditure incurred after the passing of this Act, eight per cent. of the amount so expended:

Provided that the tenant may apply to the county court for an order suspending or reducing such increase on the ground that such expenditure is or was unnecessary in whole or in part, and the court may make an order accordingly:

(b ) An amount not exceeding any increase in the amount for the time being payable by the landlord in respect of rates over the corresponding amount paid in respect of the yearly, half-yearly or other period which included the third day of August nineteen hundred and fourteen, or in the case of a dwelling-house for which no rates were payable in respect of any period which included the said date, the period which included the date on which the rates first became payable thereafter:

(c ) In addition to any such amounts as aforesaid, an amount not exceeding fifteen per centum of the net rent:

Provided that, except in the case of a dwelling-house to which this Act applies but the enactments repealed by this Act did not apply, the amount of such addition shall not, during a period of one year after the passing of this Act, exceed five per cent.:

(d ) In further addition to any such amounts as aforesaid—

(i) where the landlord is responsible for the whole of the repairs, an amount not exceeding twenty-five per cent. of the net rent; or

(ii) where the landlord is responsible for part and not the whole of the repairs, such lesser amount as may be agreed, or as may, on the application of the landlord or the tenant, be determined by the county court to be fair and reasonable having regard to such liability:

(e ) In the case of dwelling-houses let by a railway company to persons in the employment of the company, such additional amount, if any, as is required in order to give effect to the agreement dated the first day of March nineteen hundred and twenty, relating to the rates of pay and conditions of employment of certain persons in the employment of railway companies, or any agreement, whether made before or after the passing of this Act, extending or modifying that agreement.

(2) At any time or times, not being less than three months after the date of any increase permitted by paragraph (d ) of the foregoing subsection, the tenant or the sanitary authority may apply to the county court for an order suspending such increase, and also any increase under paragraph (c ) of that subsection, on the ground that the house is not in all respects reasonably fit for human habitation, or is otherwise not in a reasonable state of repair.

The court on being satisfied by the production of a certificate of the sanitary authority or otherwise that any such ground as aforesaid is established, and on being further satisfied that the condition of the house is not due to the tenant's neglect or default or breach of express agreement, shall order that the increase be suspended until the court is satisfied, on the report of the sanitary authority or otherwise, that the necessary repairs (other than the repairs, if any, for which the tenant is liable) have been executed, and on the making of such order the increase shall cease to have effect until the court is so satisfied.

(3) Any transfer to a tenant of any burden or liability previously borne by the landlord shall, for the purposes of this Act, be treated as an alteration of rent, and where, as the result of such a transfer, the terms on which a dwelling-house is held are on the whole less favourable to the tenant than the previous terms, the rent shall be deemed to be increased, whether or not the sum periodically payable by way of rent is increased, and any increase of rent in respect of any transfer to a landlord of any burden or liability previously borne by the tenant where, as the result of such transfer, the terms on which any dwelling-house is held are on the whole not less favourable to the tenant than the previous terms, shall be deemed not to be an increase of rent for the purposes of this Act: Provided that, for the purposes of this section, the rent shall not be deemed to be increased where the liability for rates is transferred from the landlord to the tenant, if a corresponding reduction is made in the rent.

(4) On any application to a sanitary authority for a certificate or report under this section a fee of one shilling shall be payable, but, if the authority as the result of such application issues such a certificate as aforesaid, the tenant shall be entitled to deduct the fee from any subsequent payment of rent.

(5) For the purposes of this section, the expression ‘repairs’ means any repairs required for the purpose of keeping premises in good and tenantable repair, and any premises in such a state shall be deemed to be in a reasonable state of repair, and the landlord shall be deemed to be responsible for any repairs for which the tenant is under no express liability.

(6) Any question arising under subsection (1), (2) or (3) of this section shall be determined on the application either of the landlord or the tenant by the county court, and the decision of the court shall be final and conclusive.

S-3 Limitation as to permitted increases in rent.

3 Limitation as to permitted increases in rent.

(1) Nothing in this Act shall be taken to authorise any increase of rent except in respect of a period during which but for this Act the landlord would be entitled to obtain possession, or any increase in the rate of interest on a mortgage except in respect of a period during which, but for this Act, the security could be enforced.

(2) Notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary, where the rent of any dwelling-house to which this Act applies is increased, no such increase shall be due or recoverable until or in respect of any period prior to the expiry of four clear weeks, or, where such increase is on account of an increase in rates, one clear week, after the landlord has served upon the tenant a valid notice in writing of his intention to increase the rent, which notice shall be in the form contained in the First Schedule to this Act, or in a form substantially to the same effect. If a notice served as aforesaid contains any statement or representation which is false or misleading in any material respect, the landlord shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding ten pounds unless he proves that the statement was made innocently and without intent to deceive. Where a notice of an increase of rent which at the time was valid has been served on any tenant, the increase may be continued without service of any fresh notice on any subsequent tenant.

(3) A notice served before the passing of this Act of an intention to make any increase of rent which is permissible only by virtue of this Act shall not be deemed to be a valid notice for the purpose of this section.

S-4 Permitted increase in rate of mortgage interest.

4 Permitted increase in rate of mortgage interest.

4. The amount by which the increased rate of interest payable in respect of a mortgage to which this Act applies may exceed the standard rate, shall be an amount not exceeding one per cent. per annum:

Provided that—

a ) the rate shall not be increased so as to exceed six and a half per cent. per annum; and
b ) except in the case of a dwelling-house to which this Act applies but the enactments repealed by this Act did not apply, the increase during a period of one year after the passing of...

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