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Longer tenancies: government could announce decision as soon as next month

Housing minister Esther McVey has hinted that the government may finally decide as soon as next month on whether to introduce longer minimum period as part of reforms to the Assured Shorthand Tenancy system.

October 12 is the date when a 12 week government consultation closes on, amongst other things, abolishing Section 21 which would have the effect of making tenancies open-ended.

It is thought in Whitehall that the government wants to be seen to act quickly following the end of the consultation, especially if there is an autumn General Election.


In a written parliamentary reply on health and well-being for renters, issued at the end of last week but largely overlooked thanks to the ongoing Brexit arguments, McVey gave the hint when she wrote:

“Earlier this year, the government announced its commitment to improve security for renters, and intends to introduce a new, fairer deal for both tenants and landlords. Our consultation on Overcoming the barriers to longer tenancies sought views on the potential benefits of longer tenancies in the private rented sector. A number of people responded that increased security would improve tenants’ mental health and well-being. In particular, respondents mentioned that fewer house moves could help tenants have better access to local amenities, such as schools and GP clinics, and feel more integrated into their communities.

“Earlier this year, the government announced its commitment to improve security for renters, and intends to introduce a new, fairer deal for both tenants and landlords. As part of this new deal, we will put an end to ‘no-fault’ evictions by repealing section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. Under the new framework, a tenant cannot be evicted from their home without good reason, providing tenants with more stability, and enabling them to put down roots and plan for the future.


“On the 21st July we launched a 12 week consultation on the details of our proposals. The government will collaborate with and listen to tenants, landlords and others in the sector to develop a more effective system that works for everybody.”

  • jeremy clarke

    Consultation? Rubbish, just some civil servants making sure that another box is ticked before introducing more unpopular unwanted unworkable red tape legislation. The consultations on previous housing matters have ignored the advice from those of us in the business, why would this be any different?

  •  G romit

    Listen! My a***e!

    If the Government had if listened they wouldn't be bringing this change along in the first place.
    Sec.21 is a procedure to evict not a cause, if the causes are the same then a different procedure will be used, but the effect will be the same - eviction! It'll just be more tortuous, cost more (inc legal aid) and take up even more Court time.

  • icon

    Very disappointing that Esther McVey has been so easily captured by her civil servants, and that she believes this will win votes from the poorest families who are claimed to be the people who are crying out for the abolition of Section 21.

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    • 09 September 2019 15:02 PM

    The poorest families won't have to concern themselves with tenancy issues very soon.
    The reason; many LL will evict any single households to ensure they don't qualify for the bonkers Labour RTB proposals.
    RTB will hardly work with 4 unrelated sharers on 1 AST in a 4 bed property!!
    It is single households on an AST which will be the threat to LL.
    Removing single households will mean no RTB risk!!

  •  G romit

    The only people crying out are the rogue Tenants who get moved on regularly by their Landlords who knock on the door of Shelter, Generation Rent, Citizens Advice, et al professing their innocence, and crying out that their Landlord has evicted them or threatening to do. Never mind that they are a few months in arrears, have damaged the property, or are being abusive/anti-social to their neighbours.
    Decent, honest Tenants don't get moved on and so rarely knock on the door of Shelter et al.

    • 09 September 2019 15:06 PM

    Of course everyone knows you are totally correct but that still DOESN'T make it true for the lefty media.
    They have their ideology and will not be swayed by things like facts!!
    Fake news is alive and well!!


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