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Longer Terms for Residential Tenancies?

Time is running out for landlords and agents to respond to the government’s consultation on its proposal to introduce a three-year minimum term for residential tenancy agreements in the private rented sector in England. The consultation closes on 26 August 2018.

Responses are sought to 29 questions. They include questions about respondents’ current practices and attitudes and questions about the new proposed framework of three-year tenancies with a six-month break clause and a yearly rent review.

The private rented sector in England doubled in size between 2002 and 2017. In 2016-17 it provided accommodation to 4.7 million households, 20% of all households. 38% of households in the private rented sector include dependent children. Providing these households with a long-term home is one of the government’s key objectives.

Reaction to the government’s proposals has been mixed. Longer tenancies have obvious benefits for tenants in terms of security and stability. They may also benefit landlords by providing a more certain income stream, reducing rental voids and reducing letting fees. It is also suggested that longer term tenants tend to look after properties better, reducing repair costs for landlords. However, many landlords are resistant to the idea as it will reduce their ability to sell or re-occupy a property and there may be issues with mortgage lenders’ rules which usually require tenancies to be granted for 6 or 12 months.

So, what do you think? Have you responded to the consultation? Are longer term tenancies desirable and can the current barriers be overcome? Let us know by commenting below.

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