RENT RESTRICTIONS ACTS

So far we have been dealing with what may be called the permanent law of landlord and tenant. There is also a vast body of statutes of an emergency and temporary nature kept alive from year to year by the Expiring Laws Continuation Acts which must be noticed. Designed to protect tenants during the period of the World War, these Acts greatly restrict the freedom of landlords, whose powers to increase rents and to exercise distraint are fettered. Standard Rent They apply to a house or part of a house, even to one room, let as a separate dwelling whore either the standard rent or the rateable value does not exceed £105 in London or £78 elsewhere. Standard rent means the rent on August 3, 1914, or the last rent at which the premises were let before that date; if the premises were not let till after that date the rent at which they were first let. Furnished houses, houses erected after April 2nd, 1919, houses converted into flats after April 2nd, 1919, or decontrolled houses are excluded from the Act. Decontrolled Houses Decontrolled houses are those which, formerly within the Act, have been taken outside it because the landlord has obtained possession. Only certain statutory, permitted increases (amounting generally speaking to 40 per cent.) on the standard rent are allowed. Distress is forbidden without leave of the court and a tenant on the expiration of his tenancy remains in possession as a statutory tenant, secure provided he pays his rent regularly, does not sublet beyond the limit allowed, and does not commit a nuisance or waste. He has not power to assign his statutory tenancy, nor can he pass it by will. His widow or some other member of his family who was residing with him at the time of his death can continuo as a statutory tenant. A statutory tenant who gives notice to quit with the result that the landlord lets the premises may be ordered to give up possession. In respect of a house purchased aftor May, 1924, if the landlord wants the house for himself and alternative accommodation is available, an order for possession will be made.

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