Rural landlords say the government’s idea of making three year tenancies the norm across the private rental sector would damage the lettings market in the countryside.
The CLA. which describes itself as “the membership organisation for owners of land, property and business in rural England”, says its members provide nearly 40 per cent of all private rented housing in rural areas.
It insists that the market does not need to force minimum contracts as rural lettings already provide a longer-term home for tenants.
A survey of CLA members with residential lettings revealed that the average tenancy length in rural areas is 7.6 years, and more than a third have retained the same tenants for 10 years or more.
CLA housing adviser Matthew O’Connell says: “The private rented sector has substantially increased and people are renting for longer, but the current legislative framework already offers opportunities for longer tenancies which meet the needs of both landlords and tenants across the rural market.
“Overly prescriptive tenancy lengths could be highly disruptive to the rural economy, threatening the short-term lettings market for seasonal workers in agriculture and tourism.
“An excessive regulatory burden could also lead to potential long-term rental homes being lost as landlords opt to let them as holiday accommodation or sell, further reducing the supply of rented homes for those struggling to get on the housing ladder.”