Government to introduce mandatory three year tenancy contracts

Sources tell BBC that government believes minimum mandatory period would give both tenants and landlords more security.

The government is planning to bring in a compulsory three year tenancy period, it has been revealed, months before its own consultation on the proposal is finished.

Over the weekend government sources told the BBC that it believed the proposed measure would give landlords greater financial security and help tenants put down more solid roots.

The proposed policy is a direct steal from Labour’s 2015 manifesto, which pledged to back three-year tenancies.

But unlike Labour’s, this one would see tenants able to terminate their contract before the three years was up, but that landlords would not be able to.

three year tenancies

The government’s belief that tenants want and need more security is contradicted by research last year by the Deposit Protection Service which found that 80% of the 40,000 tenants it canvassed preferred the current arrangements.

richard lambert rla

The proposal, which is to follow an ongoing consultation with the industry and tenant representatives, has been met with fury by the National Landlords Association (NLA), whose CEO yesterday said “I feel we’ve been misled”.

This refers to comments last year by previous housing secretary Sajid Javid, who had promised a more consultative approach.

“This is supposed to be about meeting the needs of the consumer,” said NLA CEO Richard Lambert (pictured left).

“[Our] research with tenants consistently finds that 40% of tenants want longer tenancies, but 40% do not. More than 50% consistently say that they are happy with the tenancy length they were offered, and 20% tell us that when they asked for a longer tenancy, they got it.”

But the Build-to-Rent sector, which in the past has tried to distance itself from the private landlord sector by promoting more tenant-friendly renting, has welcomed the proposal.

Johnny Caddick (pictured, right), Managing Director of BTR developer Moda, says: “It makes sense that residents are given security of tenure. So we fully support these moves provided people have flexibility if they only wish to stay for a year or two.”


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