Don’t force longer tenancies on rental sector, government told

Trade bodies including ARLA, RICS, NALS and landlord organisations have met with the government to send a clear message - think again about forcing longer tenancies on the private rental sector. 

At a meeting late last week with junior housing minister Heather Wheeler, the groups are believed to have expressed concern about a possible standard three year AST tenure, rather than the current six months.

ARLA is reported to have put forward its previously-stated view that the proposed ban on letting fees on tenants in England may actually encourage shorter tenancies as renters will feel empowered to move more often.

The fees issue was also on the agenda for the meeting, along with the introduction of Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards in April.

Landlord bodies are believed to have emphasised the need for greater enforcement of existing regulations over property standards  in the lettings sector.

No official statement has been released on the meeting although the National Landlords Association’s chief executive Richard Lambert has stated: “I welcome the government’s willingness to talk. With its self-professed focus on tackling the housing  risks, it is vital that the government recognises and supports the prominent role that the private rental sector plays in housing over 20 per cent of UK households.”

  • John Gell

    Aren't open-ended tenancies, as in Scotland, preferable? They give tenants choice of duration and allow longer uninterrupted term if desired.

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    3 year tenancies will have to work both ways. I keep hearing that us nasty letting agents won’t do 3 year agreements but what if we do and the tenant has a change in situation, a job offer that they cant turn down several miles away, an illness meaning the house is unsuitable going forwards, partner leaving and thus a break up meaning the house is no longer required, need a bigger house due to having a family etc etc. Will it be the nasty letting agent then that has forced a 3 year contract on the poor unsuspecting tenant which will give us all bad press again?

  • icon

    If I were in the position of a tenant, I wouldn't want to commit to a 3 year contract, as mentioned above a lot can happen in 3 years and you could essentially become trapped in the contract. I'd far rather have an initial 6 month agreement then let it roll on afterwards.
    What I would suggest though is the end of "no fault evictions" and instead replace them with a set properly justifiable criteria for eviction as is the case in Germany i.e. culpable and non-trivial violations of contract or the landlord needing the premises for himself or family.


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