Speculation is growing that three year tenancies for private renters - long favoured by the government - could be announced as soon as next week.
The Conservative-supporting newspaper The Sun says a decision will be made within days, even though there remains a formal consultation process on the initiative, open for responses until August 26.
Now the Residential Landlords Association has warned the government not to announce any decision on longer term tenancies until the consultation process has closed and it has considered all responses.
The association says a premature announcement would constitute “a huge breach of confidence in the democratic process.”
The RLA supports longer tenancies in the sector but warns against imposing these as the norm. It says a survey conducted on its behalf shows that the majority of landlords believe the use of financial incentives such as tax relief would be the best way to ensure that landlords offer longer-term tenancies to those that want them.
This was one of the options proposed in the government’s consultation.
“It would be highly irregular for the government to make an announcement on longer tenancies next week before the consultation has even closed and it has had chance to properly consider all responses. As well as showing disregard for recognised procedure, it would suggest that the government does not want to listen to those who will be directly affected by any change” says RLA policy director David Smith.
“The government should work with landlords to introduce change that improves the rental process for both landlords and tenants, otherwise there is a danger that even more landlords will leave the sector which is already shrinking.”