Landlords and tenants divided over Government ‘three-year tenancy’ proposals

Landlords and tenants divided over Government ‘three-year tenancy’ proposals

A new minimum residential tenancy term of three years should be introduced in order to improve security for tenants, the Government has said.

In a consultation unveiled earlier this week, the Government announced that it would seek views on whether or not three-year tenancy agreements should be offered by landlords as standard procedure in the near future.

The recommendation follows longstanding concerns raised by homelessness charity Shelter, among other groups, that existing six and 12 month tenancy agreements can prove to be incredibly ‘risky’ for tenants – and often lead to homelessness.

Groups claim that this is because tenants are always at risk of ‘short notice eviction’ – which can prove problematic for many families.

In the few days since it was unveiled, the Government’s consultation has already sparked controversy and very mixed opinions among landlords and tenants.

While the proposals have been welcomed by Shelter and other groups, landlords have voiced concerns that the plans would “wreak havoc” on the private rental sector – which has already been hit by a number of heavy tax and regulatory changes in recent years, The Express reports.

According to the National Landlords Association (NLA) and other groups, the proposals would also make it incredibly difficult to deal with problem tenants.

Interestingly, the NLA adds that, in a recent survey, only four in 10 tenants said that they were in favour of the idea of longer contracts – indicating that there is little demand for the move in the first place.

Richard Lambert, Chief Executive of the NLA, 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,” he added.