Government plans on minimum tenancy duration

The Government have announced plans to introduce a minimum tenancy term of three years. This is a government proposal to give people renting homes in England more security.

Figures show 80% of tenants currently have contracts of six or 12 months and ministers say longer agreements would allow them to put down more roots.

Under this new legislation, tenants would be able to leave their properties earlier, whilst landlords would get more financial security.

Labour says the plans do not go far enough and rent rises should be capped.

Polly Neate, chief executive of housing charity Shelter, said loss of tenancy was “the main driver of homelessness” and called for the government to “go beyond three years”.

The government will consult on this until the end of the August.  If this bill is successful the six month terms which can be drawn up currently will be scrapped in favour of a longer a contract.

What the experts say

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said the move would allow renters to put down roots.

“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,” he said.

“Being able to call your rental property your home is vital to putting down roots and building stronger communities.

“That’s why I am determined to act, bringing in longer tenancies which will bring benefits to tenants and landlords alike.”

Exemptions  could apply to certain types of tenant – for example those in student accommodation.

While the new three year tenancy has been proposed to protect those who rent, no changes to protect tenants from rising rents have been put forward.

Any plan to impose minimum terms to rental agreements of three years would benefit millions hoping for some security of tenure.

But it may also cause problems. Landlords could have less flexibility in financing of their properties and have to pay higher interest rates to lenders, which could then be passed on to tenants.

 

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