Statutes

AuthorJohn Montgomerie
DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2230.1955.tb00282.x
Publication Date01 Jan 1955
HOUSING REPAIRS
AND
RENTS
ACT,
1954
LANDLORD
AND
TENANT ACT,
1954
THE
search for justice as between landlord and tenant has led to a long
series of Acts covering alike residential premises, whether furnished
or
unfurnished, and business properties, large and small. The legis-
lation has mostly been piecemeal, designed to cope with individual
situations rather than to produce a coherent system and
it
has
tackled the problems sometimes with a kind
of
rough justice and
sometimes with an attempt to achieve a more elaborate and meticu-
lously fair solution. The creation
of
Rent Tribunals by the Furnished
Houses (Rent Control) Act,
1946,
illustrates the former method
of
approach, while the provisions of Parts
I1
and
I11
of the Reserve
and Auxiliary Forces (Protection of Civil Interests) Act,
1951,
are
an example of legislation which, though on the face of
it
far-
reaching, is
so
complicated that
it
is little known and rarely invoked.
The two new Acts in this sphere which lawyers had to digest
during the Long Vacation do not in general fall within the category
of simple attempts at rough justice. They each add quite a con-
siderable chapter to any book on landlord and tenant. Yet neither
of them provides
in
any sense a code in itself. Each
is
an attempt
to deal with certain specific problems and each,
it
may be added,
includes a number of sections, of quite considerable importance,
amending the existing law in various ways. Whether in the end
they make
a
very substantial contribution to social justice remains
to be seen.
It
is not proposed here to summarise these Acts in any detail.
The Stationery Office has produced a series of booklets explaining
the most important provisions and several new books are already
available while the established textbooks are being revised. Rather
it
may assist if some of the practical aspects of the Acts are considered
and a spotlight is turned
on
some of the miscellaneous amendments
which may well escape notice while attention is focused on the
repairs increase and other topics which have been widely publicised.
HOUSING
PROVISIONS
Part
I
of the Housing Repairs and Rents Act,
1954,
is perhaps
of
more concern to local authorities than to the general reader.
It
is
satisfactory that
it
should be considered that the time has come for
local authorities to put in motion again large-scale plans for the
demolition of unfit houses. This satisfaction is tempered by the con-
sideration that the Act contemplates the temporary patching up
of
many houses which
ex hypothesi
cannot be made
fit
at a reasonable
cost.
It
used
to
be a source of irritation before the war when some
49
VOL.
18
4

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