Why is the Control of Rent Act 1966 being repealed? Why is Control of Rent (Repeal) Act 1997 being introduced?

The explanatory statement in the relevant Bill of Parliament gives the following reasons:
    With the passage of time, the Act, which was originally enacted in 1966 to regulate and control the rental of privately-owned buildings built (on or) before 31 January 1948 owing to the shortage of housing during the post-war period, has since outlived its usefulness.

    On the contrary, it has lent itself to abuse with the further subletting of the controlled premises by the tenants at the expense of the landlords.

    It is now felt that the time has come for the Act to cease to operate, and for the landlords to be able to recover possession of the controlled premises for purposes of development.

    However, to alleviate the immediate need for alternative housing consequent upon the repeal and to facilitate adjustments by tenants to payment of rental at market rates, a transitional period is provided for.

    At the end of the transitional period, landlords are entitled to recover vacant possession of the premises.

A cursory perusal of the Repeal Act reveals that it is enacted for the purpose of repealing the Control of Rent Act 1966 with effective from 1st September 1997.

A transitional period of two years and four months (1997-1999) is introduced, in order to avoid producing a "traumatic" social effect. The transitional period has expired on 31st December 1999. The rent-control premises had ceased to be rent-controlled property after the repeal of the Act effective 31st December 1999 and they will be treated as any other ordinary buildings and governed by the ordinary law of landlord and tenant.

Upon the repeal of the Act, all tenants (or sub-tenant or joint tenants) who are in actual and lawful occupation of the premises was permitted to continue to occupy the premises until 31st December 1999. Therefore such tenancies are no longer be in force.

With effect from 1st January 2000, the parties concerned are at liberty to enter into any fresh tenancy at any rental according to the market rate to be determined at the absolute discretion of the landlord. The ordinary law of landlord and tenant under the National Land Code will then apply in the event of their entering into a fresh tenancy.

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Knowledge Base ID :   1349
Last Reviewed :   May 31, 2001

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