Ministers mull making three-year tenancies the norm for renters

Posted On: 
1st July 2018

Renters would be given minimum tenancies of three years under plans being drawn up by ministers to stop them being "forced to uproot their lives" regularly.

Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey said the proposal was "meaningless" without rent controls
Credit: 
PA Images

Some 80% of tenants are currently on contracts of six of 12 months, and Housing Secretary James Brokenshire is proposing a minimum three-year tenancy term with a six-month break clause to try and offer them more stability.

In a bid to counter arguments that the move is anti-landlord, the Housing Secretary will also frame it as offering greater longer-term financial security for people who rent out homes.

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He said: "It is deeply unfair when renters are forced to uproot their lives or find new schools for their children at short notice due to the terms of their rental contract.

"Being able to call your rental property your home is vital to putting down roots and building stronger communities."

Under the plans being considered by the Ministry of Housing, tenants would have the right to leave before the end of their term.

But the Government says renters would be better protected from so-called 'revenge' evictions by landlords unhappy with tenants calling for repairs or improvements to properties.

Labour has argued that the plans - which the Ministry of Housing will consult on for the next two months - do not go far enough.

Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey said: "Any fresh help for renters is welcome but this latest promise is meaningless if landlords can still force tenants out by hiking up the rent.

"That’s why Labour’s new rights for renters includes controls on rents as well as an end to no-fault evictions and protection against substandard rented homes. 

"After eight years of failure on housing, this is a Conservative Government several steps behind Labour, and still not doing enough to give Britain’s renters the rights they deserve."