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Compulsory three-year tenancies ‘unlikely’ to go ahead

Government says there was 'no consensus' among tenants to its consultation on mandatory longer tenancies and that reform of ASTs is likely instead.

Nigel Lewis

The government’s response to its eight-week consultation on making longer tenancies compulsory has been published and it suggests strongly that the idea of mandatory three-year-long agreements will be abandoned.

Instead, yesterday’s announcement of an end to ‘no fault’ Section 21 evictions and a likely reform of the Assured Shorthold Tenancy system are to be the key outcomes from the consultation.

“Tenants had mixed views on their preferred length of tenancy, calling for a variety of lengths depending on their needs and circumstances,” its government’s statement says.

“Landlords preferred the status quo of short tenancies due to the flexibility they provide and because they want to be able to gain possession easily if the relationship with the tenant breaks down.”

No consensus

“There was no widespread support from either landlords or tenants for the three-year tenancy model that was proposed in the consultation.”

Among the nearly 2,700 responses to the consultation, only 12% favoured compulsory three-year minimum tenancies, although while landlords wanted to keep the current AST system, tenants said they would ‘prefer’ longer ones.

No consensus on ideal length was revealed by the consultation, which ranged from three years to ‘unlimited length’.

“It is clear that a ‘one size’ approach to tenancy length will not meet the needs of the range of households and different types of landlord operating in the market today,” the government says.

The consultation received responses from a wide range of groups including 1,641 landlords, 498 tenants, 129 letting agents and 400 ‘others’.

April 16, 2019

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