The Government is about to release new proposals which, if brought into law, will be amongst the biggest shake up of the private rental market in decades.

The proposal put forward by the new housing, communities and local government secretary James Brokenshire is said to seek to provide stability for the thousands of people living in private rented accommodation, most of whom occupy their homes under a short 6 or 12 month Assured Shorthold Tenancy.

Brokenshire has been reported in the press as saying “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 went on to comment that longer minimum tenancies will help to build stronger communities. This appears to be the driver for the minister’s proposals.

Under the proposals, which have yet to be published, tenants are to be given a minimum term tenancy of at least three years by Landlords, but with a tenant having the option to leave earlier should they wish. Certain tenancies such as student lets are likely to be exempt from the new laws should they be enacted.

The National Landlords Association (NLA) have responded to this news by reporting research they have conducted themselves which suggests that only 40% of tenants want longer tenancies. They are against the new proposals.

From our perspective, we are frequently instructed by Landlords needing to evict their tenants because they have stopped paying their rent. It would be anticipated that the proposals would take account for this and allow Landlord to evict for breaches of the tenancy agreement however until the White Paper is published we do not know if this has yet been considered.

What it is likely to do is stop Landlords having the flexibility to manage their properties as they wish and some ‘accidental Landlords’ who haven’t specifically chosen to rent out property but find themselves doing so due to a change in their personal circumstances might be put off doing so if they have to tie up the property for this length of time.

We shall publish a link to the consultation once it becomes available should you wish to review this yourself and add your own feedback to the Government’s consultation process.


For further information about Landlord and Tenant issues please contact Susan Lewis free on 0330 300 1103 or request a call back.

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