London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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Greenwich 1961

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Greenwich Borough]

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Rent Act, 1957.—This Act, which came into force on 6th
July, 1957, introduced new legislation for the issue and cancellation
of certificates of disrepair, repealed the relevant sections of the
Housing Repairs and Rents Act, 1954, appertaining thereto and
made certain amendments to the Rents Acts 1920/1939. Any
certificate previously issued and in force immediately before the
commencement of this Act shall, to the extent that it specifies any
defects as regards the state of repair of any dwelling, be dealt with
as if it were a certificate of disrepair under this Act.
The provisions of abatement for disrepair are substantially
between landlord and tenant—the local authority, where the occasion
arises, assuming the role of arbitrator whose decisions in the
main may be challenged in the County Court by either party.
The procedure is almost entirely different from the previous
legislation. The tenant must specify the existence of defects from
which deletions only are permissible by the local authority following
receipt of an application for a certificate of disrepair. No further
inspections may be made unless an application in respect of an
undertaking or an objection to the cancellation of a certificate is
Since, in either undertaking, there is no obligation on the
landlord or the tenant to apply for a certificate as to whether or not
the defects have been remedied, the effect of the Act as to the
reasonable maintenance of properties may not be easy to assess.
The following table gives details regarding applications received,
certificates issued and action taken during the current year in
accordance with the Rent Act, 1957: —
PART I- Applications for Certificates of Disrepair
Number of applications for certificates 9
Number of decisions not to issue certificates 0
Number of decisions to issue certificates:
(a) in respect of some but not all defects 5
(b) in respect of all defects 4
— 9
Number of undertakings given by landlords 6
(under para. 5 of 1st Schedule)
Number of undertakings refused by Council 0
(under proviso to para. 5 of ljf Schedule)
Number of certificates issued 3