Government launch consultation on longer tenancies in the private rented sector

Monday, July 2nd, 2018 - MHCLG

The government have today (2 July) launched a consultation on overcoming the barriers to landlords offering longer tenancies in the private rented sector.

The government say they are committed to increasing security for tenants in the private rented sector while balancing landlords’ needs to regain their properties when their circumstances change.

The consultation invites view and comments on the benefits and barriers of offering longer tenancies. It also asks what incentives might encourage landlords to offer longer tenancies.

Within the consultation paper, the government are seeking views on a proposed 3 year model tenancy comprising:

  • A proposed three year tenancy with a break clause after 6 months if either party wish to end the agreement.
  • If both the landlord and tenant are happy, the tenancy would continue for a further two and a half years.
  • During that period, the tenant could end the tenancy by giving at least two months notice in writing.
  • Landlords could still recover their property during the fixed term if they have reasonable grounds, as set out in Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988. This would include antisocial behaviour and the tenant not paying the rent. Additional grounds would include the landlord selling the property or moving into it themselves.
  • Rents could only increase once per year at whatever rate the landlord and tenant agree in the tenancy agreement.
  • There could be exemptions for particular parts of the market, such as student accommodation.

In introducing the consultation paper, the Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government said:

The answer lies in good design. Models of the past have failed where they have regulated rents, which history tells us doesn’t work, or restricted a landlord’s right to repossess their property, risking a loss of vital supply.

That’s why I am seeking views on a new model – one that balances tenants’ need for protection, with landlords’ needs to regain their property when their circumstances change. A model that gives tenants certainty over rents, and retains the flexibility that many desire“.

The consultation closes on 26 August 2018 and you can find out more and respond to the consultation here.

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