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Letting agents must ‘stop encouraging longer tenancies’

Call comes from influential MP Clive Betts during a parliamentary debate on his Select Committee's recent report into the private rented sector.

Nigel Lewis

Landlords are being persuaded by letting agents into changing tenants too often and should instead embrace longer tenancies, an influential MP has said.

The comments were made by Clive Betts (pictured below), chair of the influential parliamentary Select Committee that scrutinises the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, during a debate in Parliament.

MP Clive Betts image“Landlords should get a bit wise to this, because I think many would actually favour longer tenancies,” he said.

“Let us get the information out there and encourage it.”

MP and Chair of estate agent Hunters, Kevin Hollinrake (pictured, below), who exempted himself from working on the report because of his industry interests, said he worried that a move to encourage longer tenancies would drive landlords out of the sector and reduce “supply to this very, very important sector”.

But Betts also revealed during the debate that many local authorities are unable to police housing because council enforcement budgets have been cut by a sixth over the past five years.

His comments came during a robust debate in Parliament about the Select Committee’s recent report into the PRS during which he revealed that its report’s recommendations were designed to give more power to tenants.

He also highlighted how 14% of them feel they were penalised for complaining and that 200,000 had been abused by their landlord.

Letting agents

“We found that there is a clear power imbalance, and we called on the Government to consider extending protections which they rightly introduced in the Deregulation Act 2015,” he says.

“We also agree with the Government that a specialist housing would provide a more accessible route to redress for tenants and urge them to issue more detailed proposals as soon as possible.”

Betts also said the government’s attempts to educated tenants about their rights through leaflets are not getting through to today’s Millennials, and that social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram should be used more.

April 23, 2018

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