The National Landlord’s Association (NLA) has criticised government proposals to introduce 3-year minimum tenancies.
Ministers say 3-year tenancy terms, with a 6-month break clause, are necessary to help renters put down roots, and to give landlords longer term financial security.
The average amount of time tenants stay in a property is four years, according to government figures. However, 81% of rental contracts are assured shorthold tenancies with a minimum fixed term of just 6 or 12 months.
The government says this can lead to tenants feeling insecure, unable to challenge poor property standards for fear of tenancies being terminated, and unable to plan for their future or contribute to their wider community.
Although tenants and landlords can already agree longer terms between themselves, the majority choose not to do so.
Under the current contracts, tenants are at risk of eviction at short notice, without the landlord having to give an explanation.
The government proposals would give tenants more security but also allow them to leave earlier.
Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said: “It is deeply unfair when renters are forced to uproot their lives or find new schools for their children at short notice due to the terms of their rental contract.
“Being able to call your rental property your home is vital to putting down roots and building stronger communities.”
The measures are being strongly opposed by the National Landlord’s Association, which says that only 4 out 10 tenants want longer contracts.
Richard Lambert, NLA chief executive, said: “This is a policy which the Conservatives derided when it was put forward by their opponents in the past two general election campaigns. It’s hard not to see this as more of a political move aimed at the renter vote than a genuine effort to improve how the rented market works for all those involved.”
A consultation on the minimum tenancy term will run until the end of the August. We shall keep clients informed of developments
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