The RLA’s Longer Term Tenancy Proposals

The RLA has launched a survey of over 100,000 landlords on proposals for a longer term tenancy for the private rented sector.

Proposals by the charity Shelter argue for a new fixed-term, five-year to be introduced for all tenancies in the private rented sector, with rent increases linked to inflation and tenants able to leave the contract at any point with two months’ notice for no apparent reason. This is a privilege that would not be extended to the landlord and would adversely affect the tenant/landlord relationship.

Whilst the RLA believes that longer tenancies should be used where needed, it does not believe that such a model should be the default position. The RLA has produced its own model for consultation.

The RLA is therefore surveying over 100,000 landlords to establish their thoughts on longer term tenancies to establish a model that is fair to both the tenant and landlord. Crucially, which Shelter have so far not done to any meaningfully extend, the RLA is in discussions with the Council of Mortgage Lenders to overcome the concerns that many mortgage lenders have as regards to tenancy agreements that diminish a landlord’s right to fairly reclaim their property.

Commenting as the survey went live, Richard Jones, the RLA’s Policy Director, said:

“Whilst Shelter continues to suggest that landlords are actively looking for opportunities to throw their tenants out altogether, the reality is that just nine per cent of tenancies are ended by a landlord, showing that the majority much prefer to keep tenants on than face an empty property.

“Moreover, with the average length of private tenancies now reaching 20 months, it is clear that the current tenancy model already provides for longer term tenancies when they are needed for families.

“Whilst the RLA is now consulting on proposals that would achieve the right balance of rights between the landlord and tenant while maintaining the confidence of mortgage lenders, Shelter’s proposals would not work, not least given that many tenants, especially younger people, such as students or those who are eventually looking to buy a home of their own, seek a short term tenancy.”

Richard continued:

“Shelter’s calls for contracts with index linked rent rises would be bad news for families who are presently seeing average market rents increase by less than inflation, especially outside London.

“The best way to prevent rents becoming unaffordable is to support the army of smaller scale landlords to invest in much-needed new property. So far we have heard little from Shelter about how this could be achieved. Their plan for longer term tenancies would result in landlords being no longer willing to invest.”

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