Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Fourth Report



Letter from the Clerk to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister

The House of Lords Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform considered the proposal at its meeting on 16th October. Before deciding in what form to report to the House, the Committee would like some further information from the ODPM as sponsoring Department for the proposal.

One particular aspect of the proposal which the Committee wishes to consider further relates to agreements to exclude security of tenure (Articles 21 and 22 of and schedules 1 to 4 to the draft Order) and associated provisions about surrender. This aspect is discussed, in particular, in your Department's statement at paragraphs 9 and 10, Annex A (pages 39-42 and 55-64), Annex B1 (paras 6 to 16 and 29 to 36), Annex D (paras 104 and 106), Annex E (pages 109 and 110), Annex F1 (para 26), Annex F2 (paras 2 to 8), Annex F13 (para 7) and Annex G (paras 8 to 11).

The Committee has asked me to invite witnesses from the Department to give evidence before the Committee on this aspect, in particular, of the proposal at its next meeting on Wednesday 30th October 2002 at 10.30am (Committee room to be confirmed). I would be grateful if you could let me know in advance the names of those who will be attending.

The Committee has also asked for a memorandum to arrive by Thursday 24 October addressing the following questions:

1.  Of the 54,000 applications each year (Annex G, para 9), how many result in the court's approval of the agreement to exclude security of tenure?

2.  What is average number of business leases concluded each year to which Part II of the Act applies (inclusive of the 54,000)?

3.  It is said (page 39 of the Statement) that courts do not consider cases on their merits and are not required to exercise any discretion. What does the Department consider to be the function of the court in considering applications?

4.  What effect does the Department believe its proposed new arrangements will have on the number of tenancies concluded each year in respect of which security of tenure is excluded?

5.  Annex E to the Statement (para 109) does not specify whether the introduction of new procedures for excluding security of tenure would remove any necessary protection for tenants. What protection does the Department consider is provided by the present arrangements?

If you would like to discuss the practical arrangements for the meeting, I am at your disposal. If you would like to discuss the specific questions set out above, I would suggest that you contact our Legal Adviser, Allan Roberts, who generally works Monday to Wednesday, on 0207 219 2251 in the first instance.

18 October 2002

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