Minimum three-year tenancies set for consultation

Minimum three-year tenancies set for consultation

A consultation into making three-year minimum tenancies mandatory for landlords, is due to be launched today.

In what has been described as a “political about-turn” by one body representing landlords, the proposed legislation will make the provision of three-year tenancies a legal requirement for all landlords, while tenants will maintain the freedom to move earlier.

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire, said of the proposals: “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.”

However, the Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, John Healey, said that the measures did not go far enough if “landlords can still force tenants out by hiking up the rent”.

The consultation, due to last until 26 August, will also look into possible exemptions for the three-year tenancy rule, such as in cases where the tenant is a student.

It has not been welcomed by the National Landlords Association, with the organisation’s CEO saying: “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 […] I feel we’ve been misled.

“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.”