Private Tenancies Central Housing Group

Government pledges to consult on longer private tenancies

The government has announced that it is to formally consult on proposals for longer private tenancies in the private rental sector.

Although there has been much debate about the issue, with government and opposition politicians calling for longer tenancies – with industry bodies often in agreement – there has not until now been a formal position put forward by government.

However, the Housing Secretary, James Brokenshire, has said in the Commons: “We will shortly consult on options to support landlords to offer longer tenancies to those who want them.”

The consultation was first hinted at in last November’s Budget when Chancellor Phillip Hammond said that longer tenancies could be encouraged by tax incentives – but no further details were given at the time.

The Association of Residential Letting Agents and landlord bodies the RLA and NLA have for some time been saying that evidence suggests tenants stay in the same properties for much longer than was popularly believed to be the case.

A recent survey of some 3,000 landlords by the Residential Landlords Associstion revealed that 63 per cent would offer a tenancy of 12 months or longer at the request of the tenant.

However, the association also points out that amongst the downsides there are risks of landlords being out of pocket for longer if a tenant stops paying rent, and RLA research found nearly one in four landlords said their mortgage conditions that restricted the maximum tenancy length.

Another recent survey, by regional lettings agency Morgans, also confirmed that many renters would be happy with 12 month tenancies.

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