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Indefinite tenancies show Labour’s ‘fundamental misunderstanding’ of PRS, say landlords

NLA has savaged Shadow Housing Minister John Healey's German-style proposals to give tenants greater security.

Nigel Lewis

The National Landlords Association (NLA) has savaged Labour’s proposals to reform the UK’s private sector along German lines and introduce ‘indefinite tenancies’.

Meera Chindooroy, the NLA’s Public Affairs Manager, has said Labour’s proposal reveals a ‘fundamental misunderstanding’ of the market, highlighting how the benefits claimed by Labour of indefinite tenancies have not materialised in Germany, and that the way homes are rented there differs dramatically to the UK.

Shadow Housing Minister John Healey last week revealed that the Labour party is now committed to indefinite tenancies, which would effectively ban Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions.

Labour says they would revolutionise the PRS by offering tenants greater security, restrict rent rises and at least double the average length of a tenancy in the UK.

In return tenants would have to give landlords or letting agents three months’ notice before moving out, and could still be evicted for non-payment of rent or antisocial behaviour.

John Healey, Shadow Housing Minister, image“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,” says Healey (left).

But the NLA claims that a similar Germany’s approach has not prevented rampant increases in rent over the past ten years, and that unlike in the UK properties are rented as shells with tenants required to bring all their own furniture, white goods and even the kitchen.

The NLA instead argues that the key to a better PRS in the UK is proper enforcement of the current legislation to stamp out rogue landlords, although it admits the current Section 8 eviction process is broken.

March 13, 2019

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