Government to launch consultation on making minimum three-year tenancies mandatory

The Government is due to launch a consultation today into making three-year tenancies the mandatory minimum term.

The move has been described by one landlords’ body as a political about-turn. It said that a consultation had only ever been flagged up into how longer tenancies could be encouraged, and accused the Government of vote-seeking.

There is also a question mark over lenders, the large majority of whom would have to change their rules.

Housing 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.”

Shadow housing secretary John Healey said: “This latest promise is meaningless if landlords can still force tenants out by hiking up the rent.”

He said Labour plans included controls on rents, an end to so-called no-fault evictions and protection against sub-standard properties.

The consultation, leaked widely in the media at the weekend, is said to propose that tenants will have to be offered a minimum three-year tenancy agreement but that they could leave before the end of that term.

The consultation, which is due to run until August 26, will look at whether there should be some exemptions to the three-year rule, for example where there are student tenants.

The consultation on mandatory three-year tenancies has come under fire from the National Landlords Association.

CEO Richard Lambert said it marked an unwelcome change of tone. He said: “In his speech to the Conservative Party conference last October, Sajid Javid [then minister responsible for housing] announced plans for a consultation on how to encourage longer tenancies. That’s been the tone of the discussion ever since – consultation and encouragement.

“Frankly, right now, I feel we’ve been misled.

“This is supposed to be about meeting the needs of the consumer. NLA research with tenants finds consistently that around 40% of tenants want longer tenancies, but 40% do not. More than 50% consistently say that they are happy with the tenancy length they were offered, and 20% tell us that when they asked for a longer tenancy, they got it.

“We would accept that the flexibility of the current Assured Shorthold Tenancy isn’t used as effectively as it could be, and that we should be looking to find ways to ensure that tenants are offered the kind of tenancies they need at the time they need them.

“That means thinking about how to modernise a model devised 30 years ago, to take account of the changes in the people who are renting and the way they live their lives. How will that be achieved by moving to a more rigid system, more reminiscent of the regulated model the current system replaced?

“It’s like urging someone to update their 1980s brick-style mobile phone, but instead of giving them a smartphone, offering them a Bakelite dial phone plugged into the wall.

“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.”

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7 Comments

  1. nosharkbait

    Can the government agree to 3 year no interest rate rise and reverse of section 24 taxation? Thought so -continue to sell portfolio looks great

     

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  2. ArthurHouse02

    Its amazing that with so many MPs being landlords they cannot empathise with other landlords and potential buy to let investors. a 3 year tenancy is crazy, yes it is hard going for tenants not to have long term security, but in my experience, most tenants (should they choose to remain) are in properties for well over 3 years, and those being asked to leave early are normally either tenants who arent paying their rent or where the owner through change of circumstance are having to sell.

    Stop painting tenants as the victim.

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  3. Will

    This will not be a consultation. IT IS A DECREE. As for Heir Brokenshire and the proposed jack boot proposals are a worrying development for all landlords, we have seen his efforts with his Right To Rent, yet another failed knee jerk scheme. So its not “deeply unfair” that a contract is to be forced on Landlords to offer 3 year tenancy agreements when a tenant does not have to stay for 3 years and can get out at any point? Labour are even more stupid as their proposals will significantly reduce rental supply and increase housing problems. Sure it will increase home ownership as those who wish to rent will be FORCED to buy, as their only option (research the effects of the 1977 Rent Act). The labour young voters do not understand the impacts of Corbynism. The money grabbing politicians have asset stripped the old social housing supply forcing tenants to rent in the PRS which they now want to control or decimate.

    The Government has shown its colours as being a self interest group concentrating solely on votes winning and lining their own pockets.   The conservative party failed to carry out its mandates confirming they are liars.  With such a track record I am surprised the NLA and RLA believe anything from these clowns have said to them. In fact every time a politician opens their mouth a whole bunch of lies comes out.

    Fact is the housing problems are Government generated as they SOLD OFF THE SOCIAL HOUSING, permitted excessive immigration to provide cheap labour for the big business who own them. They raped the pensions schemes driving investment elsewhere. Landlords will need to become innovative ( a word politicians like) to work their way around this nonsense possibly considering other countries for re-investment of their assets.

    I expect some dislikes as the truth sometimes hurts!

     

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  4. Simonr6608

    Read about this, this morning with one of the online news outlets, there they said minimum 3 years but with a 6 month break clause so technically only a guaranteed 6 months which is what we have already.

    More meddling without any understanding of current legislation that’s already in place.

     

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    1. Will

      That’s minimum 3 Years for landlords.  So if you have a rogue tenant tough luck or use slow s8 and be challenged at every point.

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  5. NickTurner

    Rather like the planning for the long term NHS proposed by some ( i.e. over more than one parliamentary term), should goverments be looking at the rental situation for the long term rather than short term political gain?

    The old saying it aint broke so don’t fix it could not be more applicable to the private rented sector as its been broken more times than I can remember and the continual shuffle of different housing ministers in and out does not help.

    Certainly the present Assured Shorthold Tenancy has worked to bring a lot more rental property to the market for the benefit of tenants and landlords. Surely it could be expanded to allow for those tenants and or landlords who want longer lets?

    The restoration of private landlords, not operating as companies, being able to offset  mortgage interest repayments needs to be reinstated  to bring additional rental properties to the marketplace.

    The provision of the various ‘Help to Buy’ schemes may help in certain areas and not in others; after all the country is very large and regional differences should be considered. Affordable properties for many are not affordable and difficult to re sell but still the demand continues for property to rent as many now begin to follow the European norm of renting for life and indeed are happy to do so.

    Although not politically correct what is wrong with councils building straight forward council houses for straight forward rental?

     

     

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    1. Will

      re last para – money!

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