Tenants Fee Bill Central Housing Group

Labour pledges ‘indefinite tenancies’ for private renters

Labour says it will introduce new ‘indefinite’ tenancies for private tenants, based on rules currently in place in Germany.

It claims German tenancies last, on average, 11 years, compared to around four years in England.

Labour also says the German system serves as a brake on rent increases, because it believes agents and landlords use the changeover of tenants as an opportunity to hike rents.

Tenants themselves are still be able to choose to leave the property after a period of notice.

In a statement over the weekend Labour coined that at present tenants “can be evicted without any reason being given, and despite having done nothing wrong.”

Under the German system, tenancies are effectively open-ended with a tenant only able to be evicted on tightly defined grounds, for example if they don’t pay the rent or commit criminal behaviour in the property.

At the 2017 election, Labour committed to default three year tenancies but it says it will now “consult widely with landlord and tenant groups” on redefining the grounds for termination of a tenancy, ahead of the next general election.

Labour has already set out broad policies seeking some rent controls too.

“People shouldn’t be living in fear of losing their homes. The insecurity of renting is a power imbalance at the heart of our broken housing market, where tenants are afraid to report problems in case they are evicted, and families with children are forced to move at short notice” claims John Healey, Labour’s shadow housing secretary.

“Many landlords provide decent homes that tenants are happy with, but the government is allowing rogue landlords to take advantage of good tenants. Renters deserve better” he insists.

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